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Angels youth is not served in 2-1 loss to White Sox

September 24, 2010 | 10:57 pm


Seeing Angels youngsters Mark Trumbo and Andrew Romine make their first big league starts Friday night stirred some memories for veteran right fielder Torii Hunter, who went 0 for 3 with a strikeout in his first major league start for Minnesota on April 29, 1998. The Twins beat Tampa Bay and left-hander Wilson Alvarez, 2-0, in the Metrodome that day.

“I was excited, pumped up, anxious … I wanted to get that first home run out of the way and swung so hard at the first pitch I missed it by about 20 feet,” Hunter said. “I was the leadoff hitter that day. I was 20 pounds lighter. Young Torii could fly.”

Young Torii wasn’t quite as sure of himself then. Four days later, in his third start, Hunter was overmatched in a 2-0 loss to Baltimore ace Mike Mussina.

“I looked at Mussina and I was like, ‘Wow,’ ” Hunter said. “I was star-struck, and before you know it, I was 0 for 3.”

Trumbo and Romine know how Hunter must have felt back in 1998. Trumbo went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, and Romine went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox that officially eliminated the Angels from playoff contention.

--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Angels shortstop Andrew Romine tags out the White Sox's Omar Vizquel as he dives back to second base in the ninth inning Friday night. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times