Kendrys Morales takes five at-bats against minor leaguers in return to game action

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It wasn’t all that glamorous and we have no video or photo evidence to share, but Kendrys Morales returned to game action this afternoon for the first time since infamously shattering his lower left leg while jumping onto home plate following a game-winning grand slam on May 29, 2010.

According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Morales had five at-bats shuffling between Double-A and Triple-A exhibition games. He had two singles, leaving for pinch-runners each time, and also fouled out, flied out and struck out.

That he got two hits is nice to hear, but the most important part is that he made it through his first game action without any pain in his surgically-repaired ankle.

“No pain,” he said through translator Orlando Mercado. “I just need to be more comfortable.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said earlier today that Morales needs 40 to 50 at-bats in order to be ready for Opening Day. He already has five out of the way, but it’s not clear when he’ll make his way over to the major league side.

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.