Schoop's first slam could be sign of things to come

O's second baseman puts club ahead by seven against Blue Jays

Schoop's first slam could be sign of things to come

BALTIMORE -- As Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes to say, Jonathan Schoop is one strong young man. And when the 23-year-old connected with Toronto reliever Todd Redmond's 1-1 offering in the fifth inning Saturday, he proved it, pulverizing the pitch into the left-field stands to give the second-year infielder his first career grand slam.

Schoop, who was pied by both Manny Machado and Adam Jones after the O's 7-1 win over the Blue Jays, was greeted with an animated handshake with close friend Machado, who scored on the blast, when he got back to the dugout. Jones and Travis Snider also scored, raising Schoop's RBI count to five on the season.

"Jon's got a very infectious smile and personality," Showalter said. "He doesn't take himself too seriously, almost to a fault sometimes. ... That's why you like him. Jon wants to be the best he can be, and he realizes that he's learning every day. We all know what he's capable of, and that ball makes a little different sound off his bat than a lot of people when he squares it up."

Schoop said he's learned a lot from his rookie season's ups and downs, and what made his fifth-inning blast really special was that it afforded the team a seven-run lead.

"[It felt] really good," Schoop said. "Any time you get your first grand slam in the big leagues, it's really good, not just for you, but for the team, too."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.