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Angels

First Angel Stadium appearance is bittersweet for Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen

Michael Lorenzen
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Michael Lorenzen throws during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 9.
(Billy Hurst / Associated Press)

His first-ever appearance in Angel Stadium on Tuesday night was “a dream come true” for Cincinnati Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen, who played Little League ball at Boysen Park in Anaheim and was a huge Angels fan while pitching at Fullerton High and Cal State Fullerton.

“I had lot of family here, a lot of people came in from out of town, and there were a lot of people from Cal State Fullerton who have followed me,” Lorenzen, 24, said before Wednesday’s game. “It’s been an awesome experience to kind of soak it all in.”

Lorenzen’s only regret was that his father was not there to witness it. Clif Lorenzen, 61, died on Aug. 17 because of liver and kidney failure.

“It was bittersweet, absolutely,” said Lorenzen, who gave up a run and three hits and struck out two batters in two innings of the Reds’ 4-2 loss to the Angels. “He would have loved it.”

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Just two days after his father’s death, on Aug. 19, Lorenzen hit an emotional home run against the Dodgers in Cincinnati, breaking down in tears as he hugged teammates in the dugout. Lorenzen has been touched by the outpouring of support he has received in the wake of his first career homer.

“So many people have encouraged me, saying they’re going through the same stuff, and it’s helped me out,” Lorenzen said. “That’s what I was so happy for, not only for myself, but because I know I’m not the only person in this world whose father passed away.

“To have something like that happen, and for other people to find refuge in it … I’m able to say that it was all orchestrated by God. His timing is perfect. He brought comfort to a lot of people.”

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna


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