ST. PETERSBURG -- Steve Pearce, who was acquired from the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon, didn't have to wait long for his Orioles debut. After arriving in St. Petersburg on Saturday night, Pearce was in Sunday's starting lineup, batting eighth and playing right field.
"I was shocked," Pearce said of the news that he was headed to Florida to meet his new team on the road. "I had a little bit of a miscommunication with my manager [at Triple-A]. When he said I was going up, I thought I was going up with the Yankees, with my affiliated team. But I was going up with Baltimore, and I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to be in the big leagues."
Pearce hit .321 with 15 doubles, 11 home runs, 30 RBIs and a .996 OPS in 52 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the Orioles -- down two outfielders in Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis -- felt the 29-year-old could be a help. Pearce, who also plays first base, was eligible to opt out of his contract and elected to do so, with the cash sent to New York a very small sum that's more of a technicality to cover his contract.
Asked to pinpoint his success this season, Pearce -- who spent five seasons with the Pirates -- said regular playing time has allowed him to get in a good groove.
"I've been comfortable all year," he said. "Since the season started, there's been a comfort zone, and I've stayed in it all year."
Prior to joining the O's, Peace had appeared in 185 Major League games with Pittsburgh, hitting .329 with 29 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 52 RBIs.