When the Cincinnati Reds host the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday afternoon, Michael Lorenzen will man center field. He's going to have a difficult time following up his performance in Wednesday evening's Reds victory.
Lorenzen, one of the most unique weapons in baseball, entered the Reds game Wednesday night in the seventh inning looking to protect a 5-4 lead. He was unable to do that, as he surrendered a 426-foot home run off the bat of Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce to tie the game.
However, the 27-year-old's evening was just getting started.
On days where Lorenzen doesn't pitch, the Reds will use him as an outfielder and/or pinch-hitter. So Reds manager David Bell didn't hesitate to allow Lorenzen to hit for himself after he pitched a clean top of the eighth inning. After the Reds re-took the lead in the bottom of the seventh on a Jose Iglesias home run, Lorenzen added a couple insurance runs in the home half of the eighth:
While Reds closer Raisel Iglesias would come on for the save in the top of the ninth inning, he closed out a victory for Lorenzen, who also had hit a two-run home run. And when the final out of the game was recorded, Lorenzen was playing center field for the Reds, which, as noted by Ryan Spaeder, made him the first pitcher to homer in a game that he also played a defensive position in since Babe Ruth in 1921.
In Thursday's matinee, Lorenzen will make a bit of history just by starting the game in center field. He'll be the first player in 83 seasons in the starting lineup at a position other than pitcher the day after he earned a victory for his work on the mound.