Trumbo is ea­ger to make his de­but in post­sea­son

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­ twit­­dieInTheYard

TORONTO — Ori­oles out­fielder Mark Trumbo just com­pleted the best reg­u­lar sea­son of his ca­reer, lead­ing the ma­jor leagues with 47 homers. And now, af­ter play­ing parts of seven big league sea­sons with four clubs, Trumbo is in the post­sea­son for the first time in his ca­reer.

Trumbo said he’s waited a long time for the type of play­of­f­clinch­ing cel­e­bra­tion the Ori­oles en­joyed in New York on Sun­day fol­low­ing their 5-2 win over the Yan­kees.

“In pre­vi­ous years play­ing, I’ve watched quite a few teams cel­e­brate, and you re­ally hope at some point — or at least I did — that you’d be a part of some­thing like this,” Trumbo said with a smile. “I think the feel­ing [of cel­e­brat­ing a wild-card berth] was val­i­dat­ing. It makes sense why guys get so pumped up to get to this point, es­pe­cially af­ter putting in all the work through­out the year. You want to get re­warded. You want to be on a good team that can do some dam­age.”

Much like Nel­son Cruz did in 2014, Trumbo — ac­quired from the Seat­tle Mariners in the off­sea­son for backup catcher Steve Cle­venger — had his best of­fen­sive year in the mid­dle of the Ori­oles lineup and emerged as a power bat that could change the game with one swing.

Even though Trumbo’s pro­duc­tion slowed in the sec­ond half — as did the Ori­oles’ of­fense as a whole — his con­tri­bu­tions to the team went be­yond his power num­bers.

“This means a lot to Mark,” man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “He may not be crow­ing about it, but that’s not his na­ture.” Wi­eters, Machado em­brace post­sea­son trip: In­juries kept catcher Matt Wi­eters and third base­man Manny Machado out of the post­sea­son the last time the Ori­oles went two years ago, so being a big part of the team’s trip to the play­offs has been re­ward­ing for both.

Wi­eters was lost for the sea­son af­ter un­der­go­ing Tommy John surgery in June of 2014, and Machado had sea­son-end­ing right knee surgery in Au­gust that year.

“To be able to get back with this team makes it that much [more] spe­cial,” Wi­eters said. “And to see the trans­for­ma­tion from when I first got drafted and first came up to what we’ve be­come now as a team and an or­ga­ni­za­tion — it’s some­thing that all the play­ers have taken a lot of pride in, so to be able to get back and be healthy and try to con­trib­ute, I’ll con­sider that a lot more spe­cial.”

Said Machado: “It’s just like the first time in the play­offs — you have to en­joy ev­ery mo­ment be­cause you never know when you’re go­ing to get back be­cause it’s that hard. I’m en­joy­ing it as much as I can.”

First base­man Chris Davis also missed the 2014 post­sea­son while serv­ing a 25-game sus­pen­sion for us­ing Ad­der­all with­out a ther­a­peu­tic use ex­emp­tion. Blue Jays turn to Stro­man: Toronto man­ager John Gib­bons’ de­ci­sion to start right-han­der Mar­cus Stro­man in tonight’s wild-card game was a pe­cu­liar one, es­pe­cially given how well left-han­der Fran­cisco Liri­ano threw against the Ori­oles on Wed­nes­day (61⁄ shutout in­nings) and the way the Ori­oles have strug­gled against left­ies.

The Ori­oles are 23-23 against left-handed starters this sea­son, but their .692 OPS against left­ies ranks last in the Amer­i­can League.

Stro­man, who is 9-10 with a 4.37 ERA, al­lowed four runs on nine hits over seven in­nings Thurs­day against the Ori­oles in Toronto. He is 2-3 with a 5.07 ERA in seven ca­reer out­ings (six starts) against the Ori­oles.

He is 1-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts against Bal­ti­more this sea­son.

The Ori­oles handed Stro­man his short­est start of the sea­son June 19, pound­ing him for seven runs on 10 hits over 32⁄ in­nings in an 11-6 win by the Ori­oles at Cam­den Yards.

In two starts against the Ori­oles at Rogers Cen­tre, Stro­man is 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA.

“It’s a one-game shot,” Gib­bons said.

“Your guys are just go­ing out there and com­pet­ing. Some guys rise to the oc­ca­sion. I’ve seen Stro do that many, many times.” Around the horn: Ma­jor League Base­ball an­nounced start times for all four divi­sion se­ries through this week­end. If the Ori­oles beat Toronto tonight, they would open the ALDS in Texas, play­ing Game1 at 4:38 p.m. Thurs­day and Game 2 at 1:08 p.m. Fri­day. They would then play Game 3 on Sun­day at Cam­den Yards at 7:38 p.m., which would avoid in­ter­fer­ing with the Ravens’ 1 p.m. home game. …The umpires for tonight’s game will be Gary Ced­er­strom be­hind home plate, Ted Bar­rett at first, Eric Cooper at sec­ond, Bill Welke at third, David Rack­ley in left and Will Lit­tle in right. Af­ter play­ing parts of seven ma­jor league sea­sons with four clubs, Mark Trumbo gets his first taste of post­sea­son play tonight.


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