SAN DIEGO -- Thanks to a double switch that Orioles manager Buck Showalter made in the bottom of the eighth inning of Wednesday’s victory over the San Diego Padres, right-handed reliever Darren O’Day was slated to bat eighth in the ninth inning.
But when the Orioles scored three runs in the inning, O’Day suddenly found himself at the plate for his first major league at-bat.
“That was definitely a surprise,” O’Day said. “When I came in, Buck told me, ‘Hey, you are hitting eighth.’ I was like, ‘OK’. I didn’t even have a helmet, bat, batting gloves, nothing.”
O’Day, who came into the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, said he hadn't hit since playing in a 2002 summer league.
“Much the same approach,” O’Day deadpanned. “You know, I’m a big opposite field guy. I like to work the ball the other way, let the ball get deep, keep my insides inside the ball as everybody likes to say.”
Padres reliever Sean O’Sullivan struck out O’Day on four pitches to end the inning.
“[I’m] very disappointed with the strikeout,” O’Day said. “Because before I went up there, I envisioned myself rounding first, easing to second with a nice double, but it didn’t happen that way.”
O’Day retired the Padres in order in the ninth, but he said he had to calm himself down after the at-bat.
“I got to hit once [and] this is my sixth year,” O’Day said. “I got to wait six more years to hit again. I haven’t had to calm myself down on the mound that much in while. The adrenaline of hitting is different, a lot of fun.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun