Machado's Baltimore return brings cheers, big HR

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Prior to his Camden Yards homecoming on Tuesday night, Machado admitted to feeling nervous -- then he went out and homered against his former team. In his second at-bat, leading off the third inning, the ex-Oriole jumped all over a first-pitch fastball from Baltimore starter Jimmy Yacabonis and sent it screaming over the wall in left-center field. The solo blast, which was Machado's 100th career homer at Camden, traveled an estimated 455 feet.

Before he struck out looking in the top of the first inning, the San Diego Padres star received a roaring, 40-second ovation from the crowd of 21,644, nearly double the average Tuesday night draw at Camden this season.

"It was awesome," Machado said. "The fans, like always, didn't disappoint. It was good to come back home. I wasn't expecting anything, but they did go above and beyond. It's truly special -- something that I'll never forget."

Machado followed up his third-inning homer with an RBI single to left field in the fourth. He finished the night 2-for-4 with a walk in San Diego's 8-3 win.

"I'm a little more nervous today to come there," he told reporters pregame. "I'm never nervous. I guess it's like a weird nervous, in a way. It's just different."cheap nfl jerseys china nike

It didn't take long for the butterflies to escape.3

"Once I put on my uniform, it went away," Machado said after the game. "That's the beauty of being a baseball player. Everything goes away and you can just focus on playing baseball."

Green offered his take on Machado's performance.

"To do what he did today, I know it meant a lot to him and his family," the manager said. "It's fun to watch a good person experience a really good day."cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Machado was drafted by the Orioles in 2010, when he was the third overall selection behind Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon. He debuted with the Orioles on Aug. 9, 2012, and helped turn a moribund franchise into a contender, as Baltimore made the postseason three times during Machado's time there.

A four-time All-Star who is known just as much for his defensive prowess as his slugging, the 26-year-old third baseman won a pair of Gold Gloves with the Orioles. In 2013, he won the Platinum Glove, an award given to the best defender in each league.

Instead of trading Machado following the 2017 season, with a year left on his contract, the Orioles opted to keep him in hopes of making a return to the playoffs. But Baltimore quickly faded from the playoff picture, leading to rampant speculation that the O's would ship Machado to a contender. On July 18, 2018, the day after he made his fourth All-Star appearance, Machado was dealt to the Dodgers, with whom he moved to his natural position of shortstop and was part of a World Series run.

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