Chris Herrmann’s career in Oakland got off to a rough start with a knee injury that required surgery in spring training. When he finally made it back to the big leagues, he sure made the most of his debut.
Herrmann became the first player to hit a grand slam in his first game for Oakland and the A’s went on to beat the Minnesota Twins 8-6 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.
”It felt amazing,” he said. ”It’s been a grind. I can’t thank my family enough for all the support I had the past three months. There were times where I didn’t even think I’d be able to play this year. … Just to come out here and to hit a grand slam in my first game with the team is awesome.”
Herrmann was activated from the injured list before the game and thrown right into the lineup by manager Bob Melvin. He made an immediate impact in his debut when he connected off All-Star Jake Odorizzi (10-4) to give the A’s a 6-3 lead in the fourth inning.
The first three batters reached in the fourth against Odorizzi, who was then visited by manager Rocco Baldelli and the trainer with the count 1-1 on Herrmann. Odorizzi stayed in the game and Herrmann hit the next pitch out to center field.
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”Nice little impact when you hit a home run period, let alone a grand slam,” Melvin said. ”It makes you feel like you belong pretty quickly with the team.”
Odorizzi was then replaced after throwing two balls to the next hitter with a blister on his right middle finger. He will be placed on the injured list and miss the All-Star Game.
”If it’s any other finger I can get through it,” he said. ”It’s just that’s the worst spot for a blister to happen. It’s more like one of those perfect storm type of areas, right on the corner and in front. If I stay behind the ball it still burns, and on the side with my slider and split it burns on that side, too. It’s every pitch.”
Odorizzi allowed six runs – five earned – and four hits in three-plus innings. He is 0-2 with an 8.76 ERA in his past three starts following a 10-game winning streak.