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‘Weird nervous’ Manny Machado homers in return to Baltimore

Manny Machado is back in Baltimore for the first time since the Orioles traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, and the slugger overcame some admitted nerves with a home run in his second at-bat of the ballgame.

Leading off the third inning after striking out in his first at-bat, Machado uncorked on an offering from Orioles starter Jimmy Yacabonis, depositing it in the left-center field at an estimated 455 feet.

The long ball marked Machado’s 100th home run at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The San Diego Padres slugger copped to feeling a bit apprehensive before the game in his old stomping grounds.

“I’m a little more nervous today to come there,” Machado said, via ESPN. “I’m never nervous. I guess it’s like a weird nervous, in a way. It’s just different.”

Any uneasiness about his return to Baltimore was likely quelled thanks to a 40-second standing ovation during his at-bat in the top of the first inning courtesy of the fans who rooted for him for six big-league seasons.

Machado said last week he was “really excited” to return to Camden Yards, but was unsure how he would be greeted, a concern perhaps reinforced by how the Padres infielder has been labeled as a villain in light of some questionable on-field incidents since the trade. That reputation has often preceded him when visiting other ballparks this season, as fans routinely have booed him.

Much to his assumed relief, Orioles fans instead greeted him with a warm welcome, and his round-tripper probably felt just like old times to the locals.