Avery needs little time to fit in with O's
Rookie tallies first two hits in series opener against Yanks
BALTIMORE -- When Xavier Avery pulled into second base with his first career hit on Monday, he found himself face to face with one of the game's all-time greats, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
As Jeter chatted up Avery and the O's secured the ball for safekeeping in the trophy case of the rookie's Atlanta home, New York second baseman Robinson Cano came over to offer his congratulations.
"It was a great feeling," Avery said of his first hit after the O's 8-5 loss. "I don't think I'll ever forget it. My first hit, against the Yankees. I don't think I'll ever forget it. I always will remember."
After an 0-for-4 effort in his first career start, on Sunday, Avery -- the Orioles' No. 6 prospect, according to MLB.com -- bounced back with a 2-for-5 night on Monday, recording the first hit, run and RBI of his career.
After smacking a high fastball to the alley in right-center field for a first-inning double, Avery scored on a single by J.J. Hardy.
In the fifth, Avery added a triple into the right-field corner, scoring Robert Andino from first. Once again, Avery would come in to score, trotting home when Hardy homered.
"I was real proud of him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That was a big night for him. He put a lot of good at-bats together. He was patient. I assume there's a lot of emotion going on there, but he doesn't wear it on his sleeve. I like that. I like the pace at which he plays the game. He presents a real calm image."
All the 22-year-old Avery needed was one game to ease his nerves.
"I got rid of them yesterday," Avery said. "I was real calm today on defense and at the plate. I just felt good today."
The result was two sparking hits and a memento that sat in Avery's locker after the game and will live on in his trophy room forever.
"I'm going to hold on to it, and I'm never going to lose it," Avery said.
Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.