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Machado gets first Major League hit

OAKLAND -- Tigers shortstop Dixon Machado practiced his first Major League hit before actually accomplishing it in a game that counted.

Machado lined a solid single into left field with two outs in the top of the sixth inning against Athletics reliever Sean Doolitte, just off the disabled list, for the milestone in Wednesday's 3-2 Tigers win.

"My teammates were telling me that Doolittle throws much harder than he did today," Machado said. "I guess I got lucky and took advantage of that. Either way I'm very happy about getting my first hit."

Machado, ranked as the Tigers' No. 10 prospect according to, was called up from Triple-A Toledo on Monday when Kyle Lobstein went on the disabled list and was immediately penciled into the starting lineup.

He went 0-for-4 in his Major League debut and then participated in Justin Verlander's simulated game on Tuesday, where he singled against the 2011 Cy Young Award winner.

His teammates awarded Machado the ball he hit against Verlander. Now he has an authentic ball to pair with it.

Machado became the first player born in the Venezuelan state of Tachira to reach the Major Leagues. His family moved out of Tachira, where soccer and cycling are more prominent, when Machado was young. He began playing baseball at the age of three.

"I've never played anywhere else except shortstop," he said. "If they asked me to play other positions, no big deal."

Tigers coach Omar Vizquel, a former Gold Glove shortstop, has helped guide Machado's career and calls him "a natural shortstop."

Rick Eymer is a contributor to
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