BALTIMORE - Danny Valencia's Baltimore Orioles debut went well when he ripped a double in his first at-bat Sunday afternoon, one day after the 28-year-old got word he was being promoted from Class AAA Norfolk.
Valencia replaced struggling second baseman Ryan Flaherty, who was optioned following Baltimore's 10-6 loss to Tampa Bay, and was the Orioles' designated hitter Sunday against the Rays. He was hitting .306 with the Tides before his call-up and saw time recently as an outfielder. Valencia can play infield as well, but it's unlikely he'll play second with Alexi Casilla and Yamaico Navarro on the roster.
Valencia had seven home runs in his last 10 games with Norfolk, and had 14 doubles, 11 homers, and 35 RBIs on the season.
"It's the best situation when you feel like you deserve a chance," Valencia said before Sunday's game. "I hope it turns out well."
He went 1 for 3 Sunday against Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore and nearly hit a homer in the seventh inning, a fly ball that center fielder Desmond Jennings caught on the warning track just in front of the 410-foot sign.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Valencia's long fly "definitely wouldn't have been a home run at Norfolk. But he had some good swings off a tough left-hander. It's kind of the resume he brings, so hopefully we'll see him again tomorrow and see how he does."
STREAK SNAPPED: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy went 0 for 4 and ended his hitting streak at 13 games, the longest for a Baltimore player this season. Hardy batted .360 with five homers and 10 RBIs during the streak.
MOORE IS MORE: Moore, 23, stayed unbeaten and became the first pitcher to reach eight wins this season. He also became the youngest lefty to start the year 8-0 since someone named Babe Ruth did it in 1917 at age 22. Moore is 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts against AL East teams this season.
LITTLE BIG LEAGUE: Coaches and players from Manchester Baseball and Sykesville Little League were at the ballpark Sunday in a pregame parade around the warning track, a trip that included slapping high-fives with some of the Orioles from the top step of the dugout. Sykesville's Fred Lucarelli was on the field to receive an award before the game, and Amanda Lucarelli threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
UP NEXT: The Yankees come to Camden Yards for a three-game series beginning today. New York has CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda scheduled to start. The Yanks' game Sunday against Toronto was postponed, pushing Sabathia's start back to today.
The Orioles start with Freddy Garcia today and Miguel Gonzalez is expected to pitch Tuesday, followed by Jason Hammel.