Columbia native Steve Lombardozzi talks about first Orioles start, other pregame notes

Columbia native Steve Lombardozzi talks about first Orioles start, other pregame notes
Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski moves to tag Baltimore Orioles batter Stephen Lombardozzi, who strikes out swinging during the third inning (Karl Merton Ferron, The Baltimore Sun)

Steve Lombardozzi, who grew up in Columbia and graduated from Atholton High School, made his Orioles debut Wednesday, batting ninth and playing second base.

"It definitely means something. It's very exciting to be part of this organization now," said Lombardozzi, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a late March trade for Alex Gonzalez. "I grew up coming to games here as a little kid so, yeah, I'm excited to get out there and get a game under my belt."


Lombardozzi said he's had a bunch of ticket requests, but it's nothing new for him. He played parts of three seasons with the Washington Nationals.

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of people I know every night, because I am right down the street from here and a lot of my buddies, family and friends are Orioles fans," he said. "I've become accustomed [to getting tickets for others] from playing in Nats Park as well. I'm used to it by now."

Lombardozzi struck out in his first at-bat as an Oriole.

"The last week has been kind of hectic, getting traded and what-not. But I'm finally getting to settle in," he said before Wednesday's game. "Being so close to home is a dream to come true. And I'm here to help this team win."

** David Lough also made his Orioles debut Wednesday, playing left field and batting second in between Nick Markakis and Adam Jones.

Lough said Monday's 2-1 thriller was hard to watch without grabbing a bat and heading to the plate.

"After that win the other day, I'm pretty excited to get in there. I was scraping my fingernails against [the dugout bench] just to try and get in the game," Lough joked before Wednesday's game. "No, it's just exciting to be here."

In his first at-bat as an Oriole, Lough popped up attempting to bunt Markakis to second.

** Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Johan Santana threw 30 pitches Tuesday from a full mound in Sarasota, Fla. The left-hander threw all of his pitches, and, "it went really well, so that's progressing well," Showalter said.

Santana is attempting to return from shoulder surgery, and the Orioles hope he can join the major league club at some point in the first half of the season, maybe in June.

** Right-hander Dylan Bundy threw 25 pitches -- all fastballs -- from the full mound in Sarasota and, "that is progressing well, too," Showalter said. Bundy is recovering from elbow surgery last June, and he also could be in a position to return this June.

** Left-hander Troy Patton, who is suspended for the Orioles' first 25 games this season for testing positive for a banned amphetamine (Adderall), threw a bullpen session Wednesday. He is expected to pitch in an extended spring training game Monday. Patton can come back to pitch in a big league game roughly around April 29.

** Francisco Peguero (right wrist tendinitis) had his cast removed Wednesday. He is on the 15-day disabled list.

** OF Nolan Reimold (on DL recovering from neck surgery) is preparing to play in extended spring games in Sarasota, Fla. The goal is for him to play the outfield every day.

** OF Francisco Peguero (on the DL with right wrist tendinitis) had the cast removed from his right wrist. He has had no issues with range of motion and can now begin strengthening exercises.