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Adam Loewen on his homer; others on Loewen

OK, so technically the Orioles didn't lose Sunday's game on the first big league homer by Adam Loewen, the Orioles' former No. 1 pick in 2002 who chose the Toronto Blue Jays after his pitching career in Baltimore fizzled because of elbow injuries.

Loewen, a Canadian, made his comeback as an outfielder in the Blue Jays' organization and returned to the big leagues last week.

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His first homer – over Matt Angle's glove to deep center field Sunday afternoon – tied the game at 5. The Blue Jays won, 6-5, three batters later when another former Oriole, Jose Bautista, hit a sacrifice fly.

In Saturday's game, the Orioles lost when former Blue Jay Kevin Gregg coughed up a save opportunity. It just doesn't seem like the exchange rate in Canada is fair anymore.

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But back to Loewen, who was ecstatic after his seventh-inning homer against Tommy Hunter.

"I know so many guys over there, it was special to do it against them," he said. "This is my life now, so this is probably my biggest moment. I'm a Blue Jay, and just to help the team win in a 5-4 game to tie it up is a great thrill. The fans at the Rogers Centre are loud, and I think hitting a home run compared to striking somebody out is a lot louder and a lot better feeling."

Loewen compared the thrill to when he was an Orioles farmhand in 2006, had never pitched above Single-A Frederick, then shut down Team USA in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

"That was my biggest moment till now, just because I came from High-A ball and I was pitching against [Derek] Jeter, [Mark] Teixeira and Derrek Lee, Ken Griffey, guys that I grew up idolizing," Loewen said. "That was probably more exciting, but this feels good, too."

No one wants to see the opposition hit a key homer, but Orioles right-fielder Nick Markakis says he is proud of Loewen, his former roommate, for what he has overcome.

"To see him do that, and to see him hit his first home run – you don't want to see it – but it happened and I got to see it and I am happy for him," Markakis said. "I hope he has a healthy and successful career. I'm sure I'll be seeing him, playing against him a lot."

What Loewen has accomplished – to get back to the big leagues as a hitter after being a pitcher – really is extraordinary. Washington Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel was the most recent to do it before Loewen.

"When Rick Ankiel did it, I was amazed that that guy could pitch in the big leagues and then turn around and come back and hit," Orioles third baseman Chris Davis said. "Not hitting for six years or something like that and then being able to put on a big league uniform and doing it up here, there is a lot to be said for that. He hit that ball today, I didn't really think he got it that good, but [he's] a big, strong guy and he got it out to center field. So I'll tip my hat to him."

Here's what Hunter had to say: "We have the same agent [Michael Moye], so I'm probably going to hear about this for the rest of the time we are together. But you definitely tip your cap. It's one of those things that he has gone through a lot of adversity in his life, just in the game of baseball, and to come back and be productive in the big leagues, not only as a pitcher, but as a player, coming back in a different position, is ridiculous. I give him a lot of credit. Rick Ankiel, the same thing. It's a good story, and hopefully he finishes strong."

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