Eutaw Street Chronicles: April 21, 2009
Hitter: Aubrey Huff, Orioles
Pitcher: Jose Contreras, Chicago White Sox
When it happened: Bottom of the third, one on, one out
Distance: 415 feet
Final score: Orioles 10 – White Sox 3
When can you hit two home runs in a game, including one that reaches Eutaw Street, and not be the story of the game? If you’re Aubrey Huff, it can happen when a pitching-and win-starved franchise debuts a young arm that it expects to help end an embarrassing run of losing seasons.
Huff provided plenty of thunder for the Orioles on April 21, 2009; rookie pitcher Brad Bergesen stole his thunder when it was all said and done. One game headline read “Bergesen solid in debut, Huff homers twice as O’s snap skid.”
Huff, coming off of one of his finest seasons in the big leagues that saw him get MVP votes despite playing for a 93-loss team, started 2009 in a big way with a two-homer game versus the White Sox in a 10-3 win. It was one of 13 multi-homer games in Huff’s career, and it was the second game in which he had a Eutaw Street home run. The first came in 2003 for the Tampa Bay Rays. However, Bergesen was the story for the Orioles that evening.
Bergesen pitched five and two-thirds innings in his major league debut, striking out four White Sox batters, walking one, and allowing three runs, only one of which was earned.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley suggested there was more to come from Bergesen, 23, and the rest of a stable of young arms in the O’s system.
“This is the first step in that youth movement,” he said. “There’s more coming. They’re not here yet. They won’t get here for a while.”
The team’s heralded cavalry never truly materialized.
For his part, Bergesen dealt with some untimely injuries. During a stretch of a dozen starts in 2009, he completed at least six innings and held opponents to three or fewer runs. That stretch, and his season, ended on July 30 when a line drive off the bat of the Kansas City Royals’ Billy Butler hit him in the shin.
Neither Bergesen, nor Huff would finish the 2009 season. Shortly after Bergesen’s injury, on Aug. 17, Huff was traded to the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Brett Jacobson.
Bergesen injured his shoulder prior to the 2010 season while shooting a MASN promotional commercial. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Bergesen off of waivers in July 2012, the year that the Orioles finally ended their consecutive losing seasons streak. The Dbacks released him that November, and he hasn’t pitched in the majors again.