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OC Register: Michael Lorenzen enjoys a winning homecoming for Angels


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ANAHEIM — Michael Lorenzen desperately wanted to pitch at home, and he desperately wanted to be a starter.

The Angels offered him the opportunity to do both, and on Monday he took the first step toward rewarding them.

Lorenzen pitched six innings in the Angels’ 6-2 victory over the Miami Marlins, a textbook game that also included six RBIs from young outfielders Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell.

A native of Orange County, Lorenzen grew up idolizing Jim Edmonds and dreaming of playing at Angel Stadium. He played at Fullerton High and Cal State Fullerton before the Cincinnati Reds ended his time as an Angels fan by drafting him in 2013.

The Angels not only brought him back home by signing him to a one-year contract in November, but they gave him a spot in the rotation. He last started regularly as a rookie with the Reds, in 2015.

The Angels believed he could start because of his deep repertoire. He threw all six of his pitches against the Marlins, including two- and four-seam fastballs that were 94-95 mph. Lorenzen also threw his slider, changeup and cutter at least 10 times a piece. He spotted just two curveballs.

The Marlins did not score against Lorenzen until Jesus Sanchez blasted a solo homer in the fourth. Lorenzen responded by retiring the next nine hitters in a row.

Lorenzen became the first Angels pitcher of the young season to finish six innings. He had pitched the Angels’ first and last exhibition games, so he had one more turn than the other starters, allowing Manager Joe Maddon to give him a longer leash. He threw 89 pitches.

In the first five games, Angels starters have allowed six earned runs in 24-1/3 innings, a 2.22 ERA.

They still lost three of those games, mostly because of disappointing performances by the offense and the bullpen.

This time they got all the offense they needed on one swing of the bat in the first inning.

Shohei Ohtani led off the game with a single and then he stole his first base of the season. With two outs, Max Stassi drew a walk and then Marsh got a first-pitch fastball that he blasted into the trees beyond the center field fence.

It was the Angels’ fourth homer of the season, but the first with anyone on base.

An inning later, Jo Adell blasted a homer over the right-field fence on a fastball. It snapped Adell’s season-opening 0-for-9 skid.

Marsh gave the Angels an insurance run with an RBI double in the eighth, just after Stassi had drawn his third walk of the game. Adell followed with an RBI double.

Shortstop David Fletcher left the game in the seventh inning with left hip tightness. He had missed two of the Freeway Series games last week with a similar injury.

More to come on this story.

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