BALTIMORE -- When he returned to Baltimore this offseason, Mark Trumbo was pretty clear that playing for the Orioles -- and hitting at Camden Yards -- was always his top choice.It's easy to see why. A few months removed from a career 2016 season in which he hit 47 homers,
BALTIMORE -- When he returned to Baltimore this offseason, Mark Trumbo was pretty clear that playing for the Orioles -- and hitting at Camden Yards -- was always his top choice.
It's easy to see why. A few months removed from a career 2016 season in which he hit 47 homers, Trumbo started 2017 in thrilling fashion: blasting a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Orioles a 3-2 Opening Day win Monday.
"It's a whole lot of fun," Trumbo said of securing the O's season-opening win against the same Blue Jays team that ended Baltimore's season in the 2016 American League Wild Card Game. "We battled tooth and nail today. That was a great game all the way around. I'm just happy to come through and take us home."
The blast, which came on Jason Grilli's 1-2 slider, was Trumbo's sixth career walk-off homer and had an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to Statcast™, traveling an estimated 386 feet. Trumbo, who had already doubled in a run in the third inning, played the part of hero early on in the season several times last year.
And he did so again Monday, putting to rest any fans who were uneasy that he didn't have any gaudy Spring Training numbers.
"Can you imagine me walking up to Mark after hitting X-number of home runs last year, down in Spring Training, 'Mark, what's wrong with your power?' He'd give me that, 'Really?'" Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He hit some [homers] in BP. It never even crossed my mind. It really didn't. He's really evolved as a hitter. He knows who he is. He got a breaking-ball strike there, and he just missed, probably a little outer half."
"He's got thump in his bat," former Oriole and current Blue Jays first baseman Steve Pearce said of Trumbo. "He can change the game with one swing. Unfortunately, he did."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.