With two more home runs Wednesday, Orioles' Steve Pearce won't stop

September 18, 2014|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

Steve Pearce got the message. The Orioles already have clinched the American League East. He was celebrating Tuesday night.

But, to paraphrase what the kids like to say these days at Camden Yards, “Pearce Won’t Stop.”

Pearce hit his 19th and 20th home runs Wednesday to help the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-1, at Camden Yards. He’s batting .424 with four homers, four doubles and 11 RBIs in his past 10 games.

“It’s just great to contribute on this team and win ballgames,” Pearce said. “Personal, it feels great for me, and I want to continue doing what I’m doing.”

The Orioles may have clinched the AL East on Tuesday, but they still have a shot for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (they trailed the Los Angeles Angels by three games heading into Wednesday). So they have to keep pushing ahead even when some regulars are rested in the next 10 days.

“We’re excited. We know we can do it. We’re going to play our game and not going to change our game because we won the East,” Pearce said. “We’re going to go out there and keep our foot on the gas pedal and hope everything works out.”

Pearce, a huge part of the club’s success this year, showed Wednesday that he is not letting up. He had his second multihomer game of the season and of his career.

His 20 homers are the most he has ever had at one level in a season. It’s the most home runs he has had in any season since hitting 31 at three minor league levels in 2007.

“I don't know what else to say about Stevie,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I think it's pretty much established what he's done for us this year.”

This is a guy who had 17 home runs in 743 at-bats in parts of seven major league seasons before 2014. He has 20 in 323 at-bats this year.

The difference is that Pearce is healthy and he has been able to stay healthy. In the past, it seemed like every time he has received a chance at extended playing time in the major leagues, he has gotten hurt. Pearce had an abdomen strain earlier this month, but he took some time off and has come back with a bang -- he has four homers so far in the seven games this homestand.

“Staying healthy and the opportunity,” Pearce said. “You know, I’ve never [been] run out like this. I never had a chance to play every single day. I still have to fight to be in the big leagues. They know I can play. I never had a chance to go out and put it all together.”


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