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Must C Classic: Trout hits first career home run

BALTIMORE -- Mike Trout stood in front of his locker after Sunday's game and tried desperately to remain calm, cool and collected. He wanted to look businesslike and rather professional. But a smile kept breaking through and ruining that effort.

The 19-year old rookie wanted to look like a veteran, but not many people would begrudge the kid a smile after what he had just done. Trout belted his first Major League homer, a three-run moon shot in the top of the eighth inning that helped the Angels break open a close game en route to a 9-3 victory over the Orioles, before 15,676 at Camden Yards on a very warm Sunday afternoon.

The Angels are hoping that the former first-round draft pick -- who, according to the Elias Sports Bureau became the first teenager to hit a Major League homer since Justin Upton did so on Aug. 7, 2007 -- will hit many more homers during his Major League career. But his first one certainly brought some drama with it, because the Angels were clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth when Trout came up against Baltimore relief pitcher Mark Worrell.

Worrell is a side-winding right-hander who left a 3-1 pitch out over the plate that Trout crushed halfway up into the lower deck in left field to give the Angels (55-47) a 6-2 lead.

"I was just trying to get a pitch to drive," Trout said. "I was trying to hit something hard. I was sitting dead red, and got a good pitch to hit."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was hopeful that Worrell, who's been with the team for about a week, could match up well against Trout since both are right-handed.

"Should have been a pretty good spot for him, but it didn't work out," Showalter said.

Trout came into the Baltimore series batting just .133. But he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a steal on Friday night, and his game-breaking home run in the series finale to raise his average to .179.

The home run and series were more enjoyable for Trout because he had a large contingent of family and friends here from his hometown of Millville, N.J., to watch. Trout said he loved hitting the homer in front of his parents, brother and girlfriend. He believed this was the first homer his parents ever saw him hit in professional baseball.

"It can't be described in words," Trout said. "It's just an awesome day."

Trout also got the ball back from the fan who caught it -- Zack Hample. The Angels gave him an autographed ball from Trout and got a picture of the two guys together. Trout eventually gave the ball to his parents outside the Angels' clubhouse following the game.

The Angels took a 3-0 lead earlier off starter Jeremy Guthrie (4-14), but after the Orioles got two back runs back on an Adam Jones homer in the sixth, Trout's blast removed the suspense. Torii Hunter added a two-run homer off Worrell later in that eighth inning for an 8-2 lead.

Mark Trumbo also knocked in two runs. Maicer Izturis and Bobby Abreu both pitched in with an RBI apiece. The Angels finished with 13 hits overall and fared much better with runners in scoring position, going 4-for-10 in that area, and all of this offense gave starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (6-6) the kind of support he hasn't usually received.

The Angels scored just 12 runs for Chatwood in his previous eight starts. But the rookie right-hander didn't worry about the offensive support, as he just kept the Orioles (40-58) quiet throughout his seven-inning stint. The 21-year old gave up the homer to Jones but not much else, as he scattered six hits overall.

Chatwood struck out five and didn't walk any while making life tough for the Orioles from start to finish.

"He had great stuff," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said "Tyler pitched an outstanding game. We certainly haven't seen him with that much command this season. It was great to watch."

Chatwood said he was trying to be a little more aggressive than in the past, a strategy that paid off handsomely.

"I was pounding the zone pretty consistently," he said. "[I was] trying to attack the zone a little more and not nitpick on the corners, just get ahead and keep pounding. I felt good today."

In the end, however, Trout probably felt better than anyone.

He got his first Major League homer, one that basically locked up the victory. In addition, he endured a pretty good silent treatment when returning to the dugout. Those are moments to remember, a good reason why Trout just couldn't stop that smile from popping up after the game.

"I had fun today," he said. "I'm just having a blast."

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