Two Orioles players, about 10 feet apart in the clubhouse, were feeling very happy after this game for different reasons.
Vladimir Guerrero was smiling after his single in the sixth made him baseball’s all-time hits leader for Dominican-born players. Robert Andino was excited about his inside-the-park homer and that his father got to see it in person.
There were a few smiles in that clubhouse after the Orioles’ 6-3 win over the Red Sox.
Andino became the first Oriole to ever hit an inside-the-park homer at Camden Yards and his three-run shot gave the O’s a 6-2 edge in the sixth.
Andino’s father traveled from Florida for this game and this was the first time he’d ever seen his son play a professional game.
“I’ve got no words for it. It’s priceless, you know. A cool thing, I hit an inside-the-park home run at my dad’s first game. I’ve got no words for that,” Andino said.
“He actually told me not to try to hit a home run. Just keep doing what I’ve been doing, but it just worked out like that. It was a priceless moment. Not too many get to hit an inside-the-park homer. It was a one in a million for me.
“I was hoping Ellsbury didn’t catch it. He’s a good center fielder. When I got out the box I was hoping either it got out or he don’t catch it. When it hit the white, he dropped it and that was my cue to keep running.”
Guerrero’s hit was the 2,587th of his career, moving him past Julio Franco to the top spot among Dominican-born players.
“He actually didn’t know about his record until Buck told him in Toronto,” Orioles staffer Rudy Arias, interpreting for Guerrero, said. “He’s very happy about it. After playing 16 years, it felt very satisfying to get that hit. He’s very happy he did it here.
“I met him (Franco) in the Dominican when I played. He was a teammate of mine and it was a big thrill to get that.”
The Orioles will honor Guerrero’s accomplishment in a ceremony before Wednesday’s season-finale. Longtime major league manager and Guerrero mentor Felipe Alou will participate, along with Dominican Republic Ambassador to the United States Anibal De Castro.
“He is very happy that he was his first manager and he will be very happy to see him,” Arias quoted Guerrero as saying.
He was asked if he will now chase 3,000 hits?
“He needs to stay healthy and God help him, yeah he sure wants it, of course,” Arias said.
Andino’s homer was the first inside-the-park shot by an Oriole since Adam Jones hit one in Washington on May 22, 2010 and the first allowed by Boston since July 23, 2006 when Adrian Beltre got one off Mike Timlin.
Andino said the atmosphere was pretty electric inside Camden Yards tonight.
“You know, Boston has somewhere they are trying to get to. All the Boston fans and Orioles fans. It was pretty intense. Pretty good out there,” he said after the Orioles 10th win in 14 games and their 13th in the last 20 contests.