Orlando takes advantage of rare start
Extra outfielder homers, hits sac fly vs. Orioles
KANSAS CITY -- The hardest part about being an extra outfielder for rookie Paulo Orlando is trying to find his timing each time he does get a rare start.
But Orlando didn't seem to have any issues in that department Thursday as he delivered a sacrifice fly and a homer in the Royals' 5-3 win over Baltimore.
"For me, it's like my last [game] every time I go out there," Orlando said. "But I know I have an opportunity. I just try to do my best and help the team win.
"Sometimes I don't have my timing. Sometimes I'm late on the pitch inside. That's what happened today twice. I have to take my swing plane back and put a good swing on it."
Orlando came up in the fourth inning of a 1-0 game with Salvador Perez on third and Alex Rios on second with none out against Chris Tillman. He delivered a sacrifice fly to right field.
"I have to prepare when guys are in scoring position like second and third," Orlando said. "I know they're coming inside hard. That time, he only threw one inside, and I drove it [to right field]. I just tried to put contact on the ball and hit a fly ball somewhere."
Orlando laughed when asked if he thought the ball was deep enough to score Perez.
"For Salvador, he was hustling, hustling," he said.
Orlando's next time up, he smacked a homer off Tillman
"I just waited for a fastball there because I'm so late on everything," Orlando said. "And he threw me one down there, and I put a really good swing there."
The key for Orlando, he said, is keeping the game simple.
"Just not trying to do too much," he said. "Just try to hit it somewhere hard. Be prepared for fastballs. When I get a curveball or a changeup, just try to put good contact there."
Royals manager Ned Yost appreciates Orlando's skill set.
"The thing about Paulo is that he's like Salvy -- he's dangerous," Yost said. "You just don't know from at-bat to at-bat, because he's got life in his bat. You make a mistake, and he can drive it a long way, like he did today."