Bank on it: O's Santander impresses in debut

Rule 5 pick robs Trout with catch in 2nd, gets first hit in 9th-inning rally

Bank on it: O's Santander impresses in debut

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore's Rule 5 Draft pick Anthony Santander made his Major League debut in Friday night's 9-7 walk-off win over the Angels at Camden Yards, delivering a key ninth-inning single and making a diving grab in right field.

"No, I could not imagine something like this," Santander said through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. "But this was amazing, Something I'm never going to forget."

The 22-year-old Venezuela native was added to the roster on Wednesday night, and he was inserted into the lineup on Friday because first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Welington Castillo were sick, shifting outfielder Trey Mancini to first base.

Santander started things off in a fateful ninth inning with a bloop single into right field off Yusmeiro Petit for his first Major League hit. The O's loaded the bases after that, with Manny Machado winning it on a walk-off grand slam.

Machado's walk-off grand slam

"Anthony got his first hit there and made a great catch in right field," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who added that, ideally, he would have liked to ease in Santander more. "Can imagine the emotions for him tonight."

Santander, who had been rehabbing from right shoulder surgery, made a terrific diving catch to rob Mike Trout of a hit and end the second, helping out starter Jeremy Hellickson in the process. After that, he tried to get up gracefully, but fell on some slick grass (the game was delayed by 42 minutes due to rain) and laughed as he popped up and raced to the dugout.

"It was fun," Santander said. "The guys were ribbing me a little bit in the dugout. But it was fun. I made the catch, and we won the game, so it was all fun."

Santander dives to rob Trout

Santander, who was selected from the Indians' farm system in December, batted .382/.453/.745 with five homers in his 13-game rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. In 363 career Minor League games, Santander has batted .276 with 48 homers.

Santander hopes to follow in a long line of recent Rule 5 Draft pick success for the O's. They activated former Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty off the disabled list on Thursday, and Baltimore has also been able to avoid losing recent picks T.J. McFarland and Jason Garcia in their Rule 5 Draft year.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.