Pearce, De Aza carry '14 success into season opener
The Orioles' success in 2014 was due in large part because of guys stepping up. And two of their biggest boosts, Alejandro De Aza and Steve Pearce, showed no signs of slowing down in Baltimore's 6-2 Opening Day win Monday.
De Aza, batting leadoff, drove the 10th pitch of his fifth-inning at-bat from Rays starter Chris Archer over the right-center-field wall for a two-run shot. Pearce opened the sixth with a homer.
"That's the way we've been playing, all the way back to last year," Pearce said. "It's exciting that we can do damage in any part of the order and we can score runs and we have guys who can hit. We find ways to win, and that's what good teams do."
Pearce also had a heads-up play on the bases in the eighth inning, running hard into home plate despite the throw beating him by a good margin. After replay review, the call was overturned, as it was deemed that Pearce got his foot in before the tag.
"It's a testament to Steve," manager Buck Showalter said. "A lot of guys will just let him tag them standing up. That's not in Steve's makeup. If you look at everything he's come through in his career, he doesn't take anything for granted."