ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — He arrived in St. Petersburg around 8 p.m. Saturday night, and on his first full day as an Oriole, first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce stepped into the lineup right away.
Pearce, acquired from the Yankees on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations, started in Sunday's series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field, playing right field and hitting eighth.
Pearce said he's probably more comfortable as a first baseman because he's been playing there all season long at Yankees Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But before last season, he played a lot of outfield.
He placed portions of five seasons with the Pirates, and has been taking advantage of regular playing time at Scranton/Wilkes-Baree, hitting .321/.422/.574 with 11 homers and 30 RBI in 52 games there.
"Just regular playing time, getting comfortable," Pearce said about his early-season success. "I've been comfortable all year. Since the season started, there's been a comfort zone and I've stayed in it all year."
In his first two at-bats, he hit a pair of balls hard off Rays starter Matt Moore, including one to the left-field warning track in the fourth.