Cecil Whig - - & -

from what I was told. It was just a sur­real mo­ment for sure.”

Mancini, 24, joined Larry Haney (1966) and Jonathan Schoop (2013) as Ori­oles rook­ies who home­red in their MLB de­but. He is also the first Ori­oles slug­ger since Nick Markakis (2006) to have their first ca­reer hit be a home run and the ninth in team his­tory.

“It was a re­ally spe­cial mo­ment,” said Mancini, who con­nected on a 1-1 pitch to break up Ed­uardo Ro­driguez’s no-hit­ter with two outs. “I’ve def­i­nitely been wait­ing for it my whole life.”

While the blast cut the Red Sox lead to just one run, it also ex­cited the more than Bal­ti­more Ori­oles rookie Trey Mancini swings through a pitch dur­ing his ma­jor league de­but on Tues­day.

20,000 fans at Ori­ole Park at Cam­den Yards, who re­sponded to Mancini’s home run with a con­tin­u­ous roar

that drew the rookie from the dugout for a cur­tain call mo­ments af­ter he stepped on home plate.

“I didn’t re­ally know the eti­quette there,” said Mancini, who ad­mit­ted he wasn’t sure how to re­act to the crowd. “A cou­ple of [my team­mates] were smil­ing that I was even ask­ing. I went up right af­ter that and did the cur­tain call.”

While not openly cheer­ing, his man­ager also en­joyed the his­toric mo­ment from his place near the dugout steps.

“I just tried to take that in. Lucky to see that. Hope­fully this is go­ing to be the first of many good mo­ments for the young man,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “That was a big night for him and his fam­ily. The team, too. They’ve all been there at some point. He

showed him­self well. I’m proud of him. Big mo­ment for him.

“You try not to throw much at­ten­tion to it,” he added. “I had one lineup where I had him hit­ting a lit­tle higher so he didn’t have to wait so long for an at-bat. It was the third in­ning be­fore he hit.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mancini, his homer came on the birthday of his grand­fa­ther, who passed away four years ago.

“It’s es­pe­cially cool for my fam­ily,” the rookie said. “My grand­fa­ther was a 20-year sea­son ticket holder here for the Ori­oles and to­day would have been his 79th birthday. I just found that out the other day that to­day would have been his birthday, so it’s a big rea­son why it was so spe­cial and why my mom was so pumped up out there.”

The Ori­oles called up

Mancini on Sept. 18, re­ward­ing a mi­nor league sea­son in which he com­bined to hit .282 with 20 home runs, 68 RBIs and 78 runs over 142 games at both the dou­bleA and triple-A lev­els. His promotion came just three years af­ter the or­ga­ni­za­tion selected him in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.

The right-handed hit­ting in­fielder was named the orig­i­na­tion’s 2015 Brooks Robin­son Mi­nor League Player of the Year.

“As you come up in the mi­nor league sys­tem, you’re told at ev­ery level that you have to be ready when you get to the ma­jors. It could hap­pen with a phone call and you’re ex­pected to go up and per­form,” said Mancini, whose pro­fes­sional ca­reer be­gan with the Aberdeen Iron­birds. “I felt a lit­tle ner­vous to­day, nat­u­rally, but

once the game started you have to find a way to let it go and just go up there and do what you’ve been do­ing your whole life. That’s what I tried to do.”

On Tues­day, Showal­ter pen­ciled Mancini in at des­ig­nated hit­ter and bat­ted him sev­enth in the lineup. The rookie flew out to right in his first at-bat and grounded out to se­cond base in his third trip to the plate. His se­cond at-bat, how­ever, he’ll re­mem­ber for­ever.

“Watch­ing him in the dugout wait­ing for that [first at-bat], watch­ing him on-deck, you’d like to go up and go ‘Hey, what are you feel­ing? What are you think­ing right now?’” Showal­ter said. “He doesn’t need that. [He was] just tak­ing in the mo­ment. It’s fun.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig


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