Machado 'really excited to be back' in Baltimore

Third baseman to suit up as visitor for first time in Charm City

June 24th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Of all the memorable moments authored as an Oriole, his favorite was his first career home run.

Facing Luke Hochevar as a bright-eyed 20-year-old on Aug. 10, 2012, Machado worked a full count, then pulverized a hanging slider into the left-field seats. Camden Yards, with the Orioles in the midst of a pennant race, went berserk.

Machado would hit another home run later in the game, which became his first win in the big leagues.

During his time with Baltimore, Machado helped lead the Orioles to three postseason appearances, five straight seasons without a losing record and a trip to the American League Championship Series in 2014. Along the way, he racked up 162 homers, 977 hits and a .283 batting average.

On Tuesday night, Machado returns to the site of that first home run -- and so many other career-defining moments. For the first time, he'll suit up in Baltimore as a visitor.

"I'm really excited to be back, I'm really excited to see a lot of familiar faces," the Padres third baseman said last week. "I'm looking forward to seeing the home crowd that supported me for the last eight years. It's going to be really fun to play in front of them again."

Machado, of course, was dealt to Los Angeles at the Trade Deadline last season for a package of five players from the Dodgers. He was a pending free agent, and with the Orioles set to undertake a rebuild, the deal made sense for all parties.

A few months later, Machado would sign a record-setting $300 million contract with the Padres. After a slow start offensively, he's heating up. Machado is riding an 11-game hitting streak, during which he's batting .469.

There's a possibility Machado could miss one of the Padres' two games at Camden Yards this week. He's appealing the one-game ban he was handed last week for his altercation with umpire Bill Welke. It's unclear when that appeal will be heard.

On the road this season, Machado has heard almost exclusively boos. This week figures to be different. Machado says he hasn't given thought to the potential crowd reaction when his name is announced on Tuesday. But it's clear he has a deep respect for the fans in Baltimore.

"I had the whole first half of my career there," Machado said. "I feel like I grew up there. I'm just excited to be back, [to] play in front of that crowd again. Those fans always supported me throughout the first part of my career. I'm just excited to be back and be in the city of Baltimore."