Machado has fun with chips, salsa and 12 HRs
CINCINNATI -- There wasn't much that Orioles third baseman Manny Machado did wrong in the first round of the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders. It's just that he had the misfortune of matching up against Joc Pederson, who did everything right before finally succumbing in the finals to hometown champion Todd Frazier.
Machado, the fifth seed, hit a dozen homers in his first competitive Derby at any level but was eliminated when Pederson bested him with 13 in this year's new timed, bracket format.
"If you hit 12, that's a whole bunch," Machado said. "I didn't think I was going to be outhit, but it was interesting. I like the new format. At least I gave myself a chance to go on to the next level, but I guess 12 wasn't a lucky number."
Earlier in the day, Machado said that his main goal was simply to have fun. He certainly accomplished that, even entertaining the crowd at Great American Ball Park by eating chips and salsa during his timeout. Machado's All-Star experience will continue when he comes off the bench in Tuesday's main event.
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Though Machado said there was no way he could prepare for the Home Run Derby, he felt confident that a lifetime of swinging for the fences during batting practice would serve him well.
"We do Home Run Derby every day," he said. "Every team, every player here has done it throughout the year. This is just doing it at the main stage now -- the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game."
By most standards, Machado succeeded in his first taste of the event. He hit five home runs before his timeout, which he used just about halfway through his round. Then, after enjoying the snack that teammate Adam Jones provided for him, Machado hit five more. During his 30-second bonus round, he hit another two.
"It gave me a few extra home runs," Machado said, laughing. "It gave me a little extra power."
Salsa-powered or not, it was a strong Derby output, particularly for a first-time competitor. But Pederson, who has 20 regular-season home runs to Machado's 19, made sure it wouldn't be enough.