SARASOTA — One of the first things I saw upon entering the Orioles’ clubhouse this morning was Delmon Young wearing compression shorts and no shirt on. And you guys say you wish you had my job.
I will say, though, Young looked better in that ensemble than I figured he might. It made me wonder if he wasn’t in better shape this year than he’s been in the past few years. My guess was confirmed by MASN’s Roch Kubatko, who asked Buck Showalter about it. here’s Buck:
“Delmon can hit,” Showalter said. “He’s probably in as good a shape as he’s been in in a long time.”
Also, Kubatko felt it necessary to note that, when he spoke with Young, Young was “bathed in a heavy sweat.” There’s the second mental image for you today.
Seriously, though. Good for Young. The only times he’s been a solid major leaguer have come when he’s been in good shape. And given that Nelson Cruz’s presence may mean it’s hard for Young to make the team, he’s going to need every advantage he can get to be in the bigs this year.
The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.
Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.
The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.