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Fiorentino Hits 1st Home Run

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Fiorentino Hits 1st Home Run

Off of Randy Wolf, 2 out, nobody on. Quality! Go FAU
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Fiorentino Hits 1st Home Run

just showed it on ESPN TOP 10 ... cool
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Fiorentino Hits 1st Home Run

WAY TO GO FIORENTINO!!!!!!!!!
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Fiorentino Hits 1st Home Run

Another great game from Fiorentino on Saturday night. I wonder what the Orioles are going to do when Sosa and Matos are healthy enough to return from the DL. As much fun as it is watching him play in the majors, how nice would it be to have him in uniform in DeLand next week? After all, it is supposed to be his senior season at FAU.

http://www.washingtonp…5/21/AR2005052101076.html

'Screech' Gets the Ball Rolling for The Orioles

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 22, 2005

BALTIMORE, May 21 – There is not much of Jeff Fiorentino that appears to belong in the major leagues, not the bushy, curly hair, nor the slight frame, nor the young face that appears more suited for a high school yearbook. Only when he approaches the plate and takes a swing, his body never flinching in fear, is his talent tangible. In his first few games in the majors he has appeared raw but talented, his emotions touchingly genuine.

Against Philadelphia starter Vicente Padilla on Saturday, the Orioles loaded the bases in the third inning, bringing Brian Roberts to the plate with none out. The Orioles second baseman popped out to shortstop, bringing up the man called "Screech" by his teammates because of his likeness to a character from the television show "Saved by the Bell."

Fiorentino slapped a single to left field, scoring the first two runs of the game, and the only two Orioles starter Erik Bedard needed in a 7-0 victory.

In this young season, Bedard, who won his fifth game by pitching seven shutout innings, has emerged as Baltimore's best pitcher. He was the most soughtafter in trade talks this offseason, but Baltimore held on to him instead of acquiring Tim Hudson.

In the seventh inning Saturday, Bedard may have transformed himself from a prospect to an ace. With men on second and third and no outs, his shutout in danger of being wrecked, Bedard struck out Jason Michaels and Todd Pratt and forced a lineout from Tomas Perez to end the inning. As is his nature, Bedard was stoic, not one bit of emotion apparent on his way to the dugout.

Fiorentino may be the complete opposite. After his single in the third, he cackled. After his double in the fifth, he beamed at second base. Fiorentino has earned enough confidence from Manager Lee Mazzilli, the outfielder hit in the second spot in the lineup for the first time on Saturday. Fiorentino is hitting .310 in eight games, even though he was supposed to be finishing his second month in Class A ball.

On May 11, the day he arrived from Class A Frederick, Fiorentino sat in his locker near the entryway of the clubhouse and was not approached by one teammate. Right fielder Jay Gibbons, who also helped Bedard on Saturday with a two-run home run in the sixth inning, took one look at the name tag from across the clubhouse and could not pronounce the rookie's last name. "Who's Floretinole?" he asked.

Nobody knew him. Fiorentino's new teammates were quickly skeptical. Quietly, they asked how a 22-year-old kid from Class A was going help the team stay in first place? Some wondered whether Tim Raines Jr., an outfielder for Class AAA Ottawa, would have been a better call-up when Luis Matos fractured the ring finger of his right hand. Who was Jeff Fiorentino anyway?

His promotion was not a move unanimously supported by every member of Baltimore's front office. He had played in just 91 games in the minor leagues, and at this point last year, he was still in school at Florida Atlantic University.

He hadn't spent one minute of spring training in the major league camp. Instead, he was on the other side of Florida in Sarasota, a 3 1/2 -hour drive from Baltimore's camp in Fort Lauderdale.

Yet from the moment he arrived – looks notwithstanding – Fiorentino appeared to belong. He was flawless in his first interviews, giving answers that were genuine, not cliches. He had no fear then either.

He appeared to know how to hit, slapping balls across the field. After his first major league home run Friday, Fiorentino said he had enjoyed the moment but was unsatisfied it came in a loss. He was brought up to win games, not hit home runs, he said.

In his final at bat Saturday, Fiorentino struck out on Geoff Geary's fastball in the eighth. He walked away slowly and laid his bat on the ground. He had finally appeared overmatched.

President of the No Homers Club. Keepin' it real since 2001.
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