Detroit Tigers lefthander Daniel Norris hit a home run in his first major-league at-bat on Wednesday, sending a two-run shot to centerfield in the Tigers' 15–7 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Norris became the first pitcher to hit a home run in his first career plate appearance since Tommy Milone did so in 2011 with the Washington Nationals. The home run was also the first ever by an American League pitcher at Wrigley Field.
Norris’s home run scored Anthony Gose as well to put the Tigers up 3–0 in the second inning. It was measured at 419 feet by MLB’s Statcast.
Norris exited the game in the fifth inning with a right oblique strain. Over 4 1/3 innings, he allowed three runs on four hits while striking out six batters and walking one.
Norris’s display of power was his second in as many days. During batting practice at Wrigley before Tuesday‘s game, he broke two panels on a rightfield scoreboard with a home run—one of a half-dozen he hit during the session, according to MLive.com.
“For a guy who hasn’t hit since high school, he’s got a pretty good swing,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday. “I just don’t know if that’s going to translate against major league pitchers.”
He previously made headlines in January, when he revealed that he lives in a van during the off-season.
- Mike Fiammetta