DETROIT — The Orioles didn't trade for veteran outfielder Michael Bourn because of his power, but it has been an added bonus as the team's trade addition continues to impress in his first few weeks with the team.
Bourn homered to open the Orioles' scoring in their 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, and now has two home runs in two starts since joining the club Aug. 31. He's batting .333 (4-for-12) with three RBIs in eight games, and has appeared in six of the seven games he didn't start as a defensive replacement.
"Michael gave us a real lift today," said manager Buck Showalter, who gave Bourn the start in right field because of his .371 career batting average off Tigers starter Justin Verlander. "It's hard to find many track records against Verlander, because he wins the battle most of the time. Mike was in a position to contribute today, and he did."
Bourn's third-inning home run gave the Orioles an early 2-0 lead they would not relinquish, and gave the 33-year-old outfielder reason to smile in the final month of a season that has seen him play in three organizations and struggle to find his footing.
"It's a talented team, so I'm just happy to be a part of it," Bourn said. "I like being a part of it. You know, I'm just trying to make the most of it, have fun while I'm doing [it] and enjoy the moment."
Aside from his steady presence in the clubhouse, he's already fit in with his newfound power. Bourn had only three home runs in 329 at-bats when Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette sent short-season Single-A Aberdeen outfielder Jason Heinrich to the Arizona Diamondbacks for his services as a speed-and-defense player. Now he fits right in on an Orioles offense that has a majors-best 226 home runs.
"They're rubbing off on me," he joked. "No, I'm really out there just trying to hit the ball to any part of the field I can. Yesterday, I feel like I had a pretty good at-bat against [Mark] Lowe. I'm not really trying to [hit home runs]. I'm trying to hit the ball where it's pitched. That is the only thing I know how to do."
With Bourn and outfielder Drew Stubbs, who has two hits in eight at-bats since joining the Orioles off the waiver wire, also on Aug. 31, the team has diversified its options entering a playoff push that both veterans have enjoyed. Bourn was impressed with how the team bounced back to take two straight games after a difficult, one-run loss Friday.
"That's the thing about this team," Bourn said. "You come into a new clubhouse and you see how they react if they lose a tough game. Came back the next night and won convincingly, and then came back and won again today. We won the series. This is a good team to be a part of, I'm happy to be here, and we're going to try and keep on doing what we do."