Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia homers in first home at-bat for Double-A Bowie

April 26, 2013|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

BOWIE -- Before his first professional home game for Double-A Bowie on Friday night, Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia said he’d be a little nervous playing in front of the crowd at Prince George's Stadium.

He certainly didn’t show any anxiousness when he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat to open the second inning.

Urrutia,  the Cuban defector whom the Orioles signed to a $778,500 signing bonus in July, smoked the first pitch he saw from Harrisburg starter Brian Broderick over the center-field fence, an estimated 405 feet.

"That ball looked like it had two gears to it," Bowie manager Gary Kendall said. "When he first hit it, I didn't think it had enough and then you saw that backspin and it just kept carrying. He's got really good finish and contact. He put a good swing on it."

Urrutia -- who started in right field and batted fifth for the Baysox -- was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs on the night. He drew a full-count walk in his second plate appearance and added a run-scoring infield single on a ball that hit of the glove of first baseman Justin Bloxom in the sixth inning in Bowie's 3-1 win.

Friday night’s game was Urrutia’s sixth as a pro. He was assigned to Bowie last week after spending the first two weeks of the season in extended spring training.

Urrutia is now hitting .364 (8-for-22) with 2 homers and 7 RBIs, not bad for a player who hasn't played competitively in two seasons after missing time following a failed defection from Cuba.

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