Rhyne Time

Rhyne Hughes said he didn't want to get noticed yesterday for the "wrong reasons." So he belted two home runs in the Orioles' exhibition opener against Tampa Bay.

Way to overreact, Rhyne.

"I know it's just one game, but it was nice to get off to a good start," he said earlier today. "I just tried to have a few good at-bats and put some good swings on the ball."

I can name two.

"I'm just here to go out every day and work hard," he said. "I want them to notice the fact that I come out here and work hard every day. That's what I'm trying to do, and I'll keep doing that."

Both of his home runs were hit against left-handers - a curveball and a fastball - which added to the impressive nature of his feat.

"That's important for me," he said. "The one thing I'm going to take away from that day is the fact that I had two good at-bats against left-handers. Those aren't starters who I would see in a game three times. Those are guys who would be coming in late in a game and I might only see a couple times, and I need to have good at-bats. That's good for me.

"I want to be an everyday player, whether a righty or a lefty is throwing. And I want to be able to show that I can hit lefties just as well as I can hit righties, so that way I can help the team hitting against a lefty, also, and they don't have to put someone else in there.

"I know it's early, but that's what I'm walking away with from yesterday."

We're about 20 minutes away from the first pitch. The Orioles are wearing their road grays. Ty Wigginton is playing catch with Robert Andino in front of the dugout, and "Welcome to the Jungle" is blaring over the PA system.

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