WASHINGTON D.C. — Colby Rasmus hadn’t played a big league game since April 6 – when he went hitless in three at-bats and then was placed on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his surgically repaired left hip.
He rejoined the club in a lost season Thursday and said pre-game he just wanted to do whatever he could to help this team win. And he did his part Thursday evening against the Nats.
The Orioles (21-52) lost anyway, allowing two runs in the bottom of the eighth in a 4-2 Nationals win – their fifth victory in six contests this season against the geographic rival Orioles.
Rasmus homered in his first at-bat – taking Washington ace Max Scherzer deep in the second inning. And then he made a tremendous throw in the seventh that kept the game tied.
Wilmer Difo led off the inning with a shot to right-center that soared over Rasmus’ outstretched glove for a triple. With one out, Rasmus erased the threat by catching a fly ball by Daniel Murphy and then throwing a bullet to home plate for an inning-ending double play.
Caleb Joseph had to leap to catch it and then made a good sweeping tag on Difo.
“I got excited with a chance to throw him out, so I just came out and aimed high, let it fly,” Rasmus said. “Luckily, Caleb came down with it and we were able to get him.”
The homer, Rasmus’ first since June 11, 2017, gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead against Scherzer in the second inning. Rasmus was 2-for-10 with no homers against Scherzer heading into Thursday.
“Me and Max, we go way back, so I felt real good,” Rasmus said.
At first glance, Rasmus may not look like a good fit for the Orioles now. But if he keeps playing like he did Thursday, he could be a trade chip next month.
On Thursday, though, it was more about his journey to get back to the majors this year.
“I know he was excited about getting here today. It’s been a long journey for him. I had him go over all the cities he’s been in, from Frederick to Harrisburg, I can keep going. Bowie. He’s made the rounds,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s put in a lot of work to get back here, so everybody was excited to see him come back in the locker room.”
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