Skippers revel at Vlad's low-ball single
Slugger connected on pitch that hit ground on Friday night
BALTIMORE -- Amidst all 31 hits in Friday's game, it was a bloop single in the first inning that had both Angels manager Mike Scioscia and Orioles skipper Dave Trembley talking.
Vladimir Guerrero, who has developed a reputation for hitting pitches low to the ground, set a "new low" on Friday, knocking a pitch from Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman that hit the ground before reaching the plate. Upon contact, the ball sailed into left field, giving Guerrero a single.
"I watch all of the replays, and I watched that one about eight times," Trembley said. "Gosh darn -- that's the old stickball [play]. That was something. That was Manny Sanguillen from the old Pirates who used to do that."
Guerrero even found his first-inning single to be somewhat humerous, grinning as he hustled down the first-base line. The play took an even more bizarre turn after Orioles outfielder Felix Pie made a throwing error, allowing Guerrero to go to second on the play. It was one of two hits on the night for Guerrero, and not the first time the Angels outfielder has dug down deep to make contact.
In a game against Cleveland, Guerrero hit a low pitch from then-Indians pitcher CC Sabathia, knocking it all the way to the outfield wall. Scioscia remembered that pitch as being "shin-high", but admitted Guerrero's ability to hit balls out of the zone has become a characteristic of his game.
"That's got to be the only ball in that zone that he's hit," Scioscia said. "He's a low ball hitter. I think he's fouled ball off before like that, but I can't recall."
Brian Eller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.