Before he could get to post-game interviews, Josh Bell was heading out of the Orioles clubhouse to take care of some business.
He was looking to get the two baseballs he hit for his first two Major League homers today in the O’s 8-6 win over Texas.
Two fans sitting near each other in right field had the baseballs. Now each has a Bell bat and ball and he autographed each.
Now, where do those baseballs go?
“Not sure yet. Probably, somewhere with Mom.”
Bell knew what to do with them when he saw them earlier today. They were leaving Cliff Lee’s left hand. He hit a two-run shot in the third and three-run shot in the fourth. He’s the first O’s rookie with a two-homer game since Michael Aubrey on October 2 of last year vs. Toronto.
“I don’t think it’s ever gonna really set in. This is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. You know, my family that was watching, just something for them. I feel blessed to have an opportunity to play in the big leagues and help a big league team win.”
After hitting just one homer batting right-handed in 80 at bats at Triple-A this year, he blasted two today and off the 2008 AL Cy Young winner to boot.
“It’s a great feeling. I was thinking my first homer in the big leagues might be a right-handed home run. It just goes to show you that you have to keep working. Just stay positive with things. I know I can hit right handed and it just feels great to do it.
“Just one of those games. One of the exciting things that you’ll always remember. It’s still a whirlwind a little bit.”
With a 5-RBI day already in the bag, Bell came up in the sixth vs. Lee and drilled a long single off the fence in right that didn’t miss a third homer by much.
Did he think he had a third?
“There was a chance that I did. Off the bat, I didn’t really think it. Then when I was watching it, I thought it might. Then I saw it coming down. Long single, I’ll take it.
“It feels good to get one and two out of the way, especially against a guy like that, just a great feeling.”
The 5 RBI are a career high for Bell, who had just four over 23 games entering today.
Some of that early work the last few weeks with Terry Crowley, plus advice from teammates, is now paying off.
“With all the video and scouting reports on guys, it’s something in the minor leagues you really don’t go over too much. But here, it’s necessary. You have to go over who you are facing and what their tendencies are. Working with Crow and working with the guys that know the pitchers, it’s really helped me.
“I was telling (Jake) Fox, is it okay to open my eyes now? It feels great, definitely a confidence boost. I’m feeling great at third base. You know, after today, just try to take it over the rest of the season.