Paulo Orlando doesn’t play every day, and he doesn’t hit for a high average.
But when he plays, Orlando always seems to contribute.
In the Royals’ 5-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday, Orlando blasted a solo home run in the sixth inning, his fifth of the season.
Perhaps his previous plate appearance was bigger, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field in the fourth inning to score Salvador Perez to make it a 2-0 game. Alex Rios also moved from second to third on the play.
“Drove the ball to right field, that’s best-case scenario, get the runner in, get the runner over to give you an opportunity to score another run,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals didn’t take advantage there, but Orlando homered, 417 feet to left, in his next plate appearance.
“I just waited for a fast ball there,” Orlando said.
Orlando got the start in left field Thursday when Yost shuffled the lineup, using Ben Zobrist as the designated hitter. Orlando has moved between the Royals and Class AAA Omaha this season, and he’s hitting .240.
But he’s hit a walk-off grand slam and won another game with an eighth-inning home run. On Wednesday, Orlando chipped in two hits.
“He’s got life in his bat,” Yost said. “If you make a mistake, he’s going to make you pay. He’s a dangerous guy, even though his batting average isn’t .300. And he finds a way to do something. It might be a defensive play in the outfield, it might be a big base hit. He’s been a big contributor.”