Kim making strong case to play every day

After rough spring, O's left fielder swinging hot bat

Kim making strong case to play every day

BALTIMORE -- The question came up before the Orioles' 13-9 win over the Red Sox and became even more relevant after the dust had settled: How impressive has Hyun Soo Kim been?

And, more importantly, does Kim -- who went 3-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored Wednesday night at Camden Yards -- deserve to be an everyday player?

Consider this: Kim is batting .385 (10-for-26) with five runs scored, two doubles, a homer and an RBI over his past seven games. The left fielder tied his career high with three hits twice in the past week and has had some of the better at-bats for a lineup that has endured rough stretches.

"He's kind of past making the most of opportunities. He's getting a lot of opportunities. He's taking advantage of them," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Kim, who has hit in 12 of his 19 games. "I'm happy for him because he's been good through everything and has a lot of respect for what's going on here."

Kim on his first career home run

Kim, who appeared in just six games in April, didn't make his season debut until April 10. He doubled that in May, playing in six consecutive games from May 25-30.

"The everyday play allowed me to be more comfortable up there and perform better," Kim said through his interpreter. "I'm not trying to keep the [batting] average, but I'm trying my best to make better hits out there. And definitely by seeing a lot more balls by the pitchers allows me to be a lot more adapted."

Kim raised his average to .382 and has come a long way since starting Spring Training 0-for-23.

"It's big," catcher Matt Wieters said of Kim's recent stretch. "When the lights came out on the season, he hasn't seemed overwhelmed at all. He's been ready right from the get-go. Whatever situation Buck's put him in, there's been no excuses. He's ready to go."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.