ANAHEIM, Calif. - While the Orioles roster contains players from all over the United States - in addition to players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela - three Orioles are enjoying a homecoming of sorts during this series against the Angels.
Not only are outfielder/designated hitter Mark Trumbo, catcher Chance Sisco and pitcher Chris Tillman from California, but all three were born 30 miles or less from Angel Stadium.
Trumbo was born in Anaheim and played high school ball at Villa Park High, which is about 10 minutes from the ballpark. Beyond that, the Angels drafted him in the 18th round of the 2004 draft and he played for the team from 2010 to 2013. He hit 95 homers for the Angels over a three-season stretch, beginning in 2011.
Out all year with a right quad strain, it was fitting that Trumbo had his personal opening day in Anaheim on Tuesday night when he was activated off the disabled list. He went 0-for-4 in the series opener, but was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles last night.
Playing in Anaheim will always be special for Trumbo.
"Of course. When I saw the schedule, I thought this would be a logical choice to be activated (here)," he said before the series began. "It should be a whole lot of fun. I've got a lot of friends and family as usual here and hopefully we come out on the better end of things."
Trumbo said while he was on the DL and could not help the team on the field, he tried to encourage his teammates during a tough time.
"You want to help," he said. "I try to do what I can. I was physically limited, but I tried to help where I can. And that could be just some positive reinforcement here and there. It goes a long way. This game can get very difficult very quickly and sometimes it's good to hear from someone that has played at least a few years that things are going to get better. And maybe as bad as things look on paper, you know we've got quite a bit of baseball to go and if I can help, that would be great."
Sisco is from Corona, which is 23 miles from Anaheim. He stayed with his family on Tuesday night after he got injured during the game. In the seventh inning, Sisco collided with third baseman Pedro Ãlvarez while chasing a foul popup. He took a forearm to his face ,but didn't suffer a concussion. His nose was still sore yesterday, but Sisco avoided the DL and is available to play.
Of course, it was bad luck for him that the injury happened during his first major league game back in his home area. He had a few tickets out here the last two nights.
"Quite a bit, I don't know the exact number. Too many to count," Sisco said.
Tillman, who pitches tonight, is from Fountain Valley, about 20 miles from Anaheim. In 2006, the Seattle Mariners drafted him in the second round out of Fountain Valley High School. In February 2008, Tillman joined the Orioles in the Erik Bedard trade.
Tonight, he will pitch at Angel Stadium for the first time since July 23, 2014. In two starts there he is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.64, allowing just eight hits and one run over 14 innings. In six career starts versus the Angels, he is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA.
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