BOWIE, Md. - Nice home debut for Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia.
Playing in front of the Double-A Bowie Baysox fans for the first time here tonight, the 26-year-old Urrutia smoked a solo homer over the center field fence on the first pitch he saw in this game.
Urrutia, batting .316 with one homer and five RBIs in his first five Baysox games since joining the team a week ago, led off the last of the second against Harrisburg right-hander Brian Broderick and hit it out to give Bowie a 1-0 lead. He hit it over the fence in straightaway center, which is 405 feet away.
He also homered Monday in his fourth Double-A game and now has two homers in his first 20 at-bats in the Eastern League.
Urrutia, signed by the Orioles last summer, played in the Cuban League from 2006 to 2010 batting .350 with 33 homers and 219 RBIs.
Earlier today here, he spoke about his first Baysox homer and adapting to baseball in the United States in this interview.
The Orioles have sent Eric Cormell from their minor league staff to join Bowie and help Urrutia with anything he needs in his transition to baseball in the United States. He joined the Baysox last week on their road trip when Urrutia was activated a week ago today.
“We’re fortunate to have Eric here who is a coach with our organization,” Bowie manager Gary Kendall said. “He’s been making sure he gets to and from the park and making sure he gets acclimated. He is helping him to see some of Baltimore. Yesterday they went downtown and saw different things. Get him to feel comfortable. It is nice the organization has someone like that to do that, plus Eric is a coach that can help here.”
Update: In his second plate appearance tonight, Urrutia walked leading off the last of the fourth on a 3-2 pitch. No homer this time. He was erased on the bases when Brandon Waring hit into a 5-4-3 double play. Bowie leads Harrisburg 2-0 in the fourth.
Update II: In his third plate appearance in the sixth, Urrutia lined an RBI single off the first base bag. He is now 8-for-21 (.381) with two homers and seven RBIs for the Baysox and has hit two balls very hard here tonight.
It’s a final: The Baysox beat Harrisburg 3-1 as Mike Wright got the win. Wright went six innings, allowing just four hits and one run. He is now 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA.
Urrutia grounded out in his last at-bat, so he went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs. He is now batting .364. Ty Kelly went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.