KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Hyun Soo Kim felt good about being recognized so far away from home.
“It was very comfortable. Everything was OK,” the Baltimore Orioles left fielder said through an interpreter after going 0 for 3 Tuesday in his team’s exhibition opener, a 4-4, 10-inning tie against the Atlanta Braves.
“I wan’t expecting to see a lot of fans that were here to see me performing,” he said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”
The 28-year-old Kim left South Korean baseball in December, agreeing to a $7 million, two-year contract with the Orioles.
“I was nervous a bit and I had too much thinking going to the plate. I was thinking about too many movements of the pitches, and I wasn’t able to really perform the best things I really have up at the plate.”
Said manager Buck Showalter: “I’d like to expose him to as much as I can if he goes north with us so that a lot of this stuff is behind us.”
Ryan Flaherty and Christian Walker homered for the Orioles.
Flaherty hit the second pitch from Atlanta starter Williams Perez for a single and scored the first run on Walker’s sacrifice fly.
After Flaherty led off the third with a home run against Ryan Kelly, Walker made it 4-0 with a two-run homer.
Freddie Freeman doubled in his first spring at-bat for the Braves and newly acquired shortstop Erick Aybar also hit a double.
Atlanta tied it in the eighth with the help of hits by Rio Ruiz and Ryan Lavarnway and Reid Brignac’s sacrifice fly.
Baltimore starter Mike Wright gave up one hit in two shutout innings.
The crowd gasped and applauded when Braves reliever Mauricio Cabrera reached 100 and 101 mph with several pitches in the ninth inning. “It’s not only 100 miles an hour but it’s pretty easy,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the 22-year-old right-hander. “And he’s got other pitches that he throws along with it, which is encouraging.”
Orioles: Mike Wright gave up one hit and struck out two in two shutout innings.
Braves: Perez pitched only one inning after throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman, who was scratched from Sunday’s intrasquad game with a flexor strain in his left hip, threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session. Showalter said he hoped to pitch Tillman and RHP Yovani Gallardo, who signed last week in games on Mar. 9-10.
Braves: Freeman’s hit was a welcome sign for the Braves, who are expecting the first baseman to be very careful after finishing last season with a wrist injury. “His first at bat, you couldn’t ask for any better test than that,” Gonzalez said.
Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jiminez will pitch against the Braves at Sarasota.
Braves: RHP prospect Aaron Blair, acquired in the five-player trade that sent RHP Shelby Miller to Arizona, will face the Orioles.