Baltimore Orioles: Heston Kjerstad smacks two homers in Birds’ spring debut

It was 84 degrees at first pitch this afternoon for the Baltimore Orioles’ first spring game at Ed Smith Stadium. This as opposed to some wintry weather pushing through at home. The Birds sent Drew Rom to the mound, and while he gave up an early run, he was fairly effective. Rom’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.

It’s tough to gauge a guy in his first spring start. Especially when he only pitched two innings, which was the plan for Rom all along today. Rom’s sole run surrendered came in the first inning on a sac fly-RBI. This on the heels of a triple. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Contreras’ two-run shot.

The Orioles got on the board in the last of the fourth when Joey Ortiz smacked an RBI-triple. One inning later, they took a 4-3 lead on a three-run homer by Curtis Terry. Later in the inning Heston Kjerstad came up with the bases clear. And he also delivered, smacking a solo homer.

Minnesota would get one back on an RBI-groundout in the sixth. But that seemed to open up the orange and black floodgates. Terrin Vavra’s two-run homer extended the Birds’ lead to 7-4, before Rosario smacked a solo homer for Minnesota in the top of the seventh. This would bring Kjerstad back to the plate in the last of the seventh with the Birds leading 7-5…

…and Kjerstad once again delivered. This time it was a solo homer, giving the O’s an 8-5 lead. Cesar Prieto’s two-RBI single later in the inning would wrap up the scoring. It would also wrap up the Orioles’ 10-5 victory.

Heston Kjerstad was obviously the star of the show today. Terrin Vavra also had a great day, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI. Remember folks, these spring games are meant to get guys in the spring of playing again, and they help for them to get their timing back. So on those notes, Vavra and Kjerstad’s performances were noteworthy. Last year’s first round pick, Jackson Holiday, also had a double in the seventh inning.

Incidentally, as I write a game recap for a 10-5 Orioles’ win, I was wrong earlier this week With regard to today’s game, that is. I mentioned how pitchers and catchers were ahead of position players at the plate, meaning that we might see some pitcher’s duels early on. That was obviously not the case this afternoon. The Birds busted out the bats today!

The Orioles head to Lakeland, Florida tomorrow to take on Detroit at Joker Marchant Stadium. Dean Kremer gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s