BALTIMORE -- On his own action figure giveaway night, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado's bat continued to show encouraging signs of coming to life.Machado, who snapped an 0-for-18 stretch in a two-hit game on Thursday, homered Saturday for the second consecutive game in Baltimore's 5-2 loss to the Red Sox."He
BALTIMORE -- On his own action figure giveaway night, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado's bat continued to show encouraging signs of coming to life.
Machado, who snapped an 0-for-18 stretch in a two-hit game on Thursday, homered Saturday for the second consecutive game in Baltimore's 5-2 loss to the Red Sox.
"He hit another ball really hard [in the ninth] that they ran down in center field, but [Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel] is a really good pitcher," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Machado coming to life. "We'll see. Little by little. Things just don't happen overnight. He's put some really good swings on some really good pitchers. So we'll see. Hopefully."
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The 24-year-old Machado, marred in a tough stretch to start the season -- along with several of the Orioles' other big bats -- said Friday he was just trying to have some quality at-bats. The result has been the return of his power.
Machado scorched a ball to the second deck on Friday, becoming the first Oriole since Mark Reynolds in 2011 to hit a ball that far, and he was the only O's player to see the ball well Saturday off Red Sox lefty David Price. According to Statcast™, Machado is the only player in the Majors to have three homers of 460 feet or longer.
"He's one of the best players in baseball. He's going to hit those types of pitches. That's part of it," Price said of Machado's homer, which came on a 1-0 pitch and went a projected 369 feet.
Machado heating up would be huge for Baltimore, which has had trouble getting its pitching and hitting clicking together. Despite his struggles, Machado still has 12 homers and 27 RBIs, tied for the team lead in each category.
"My average, everyone's going to struggle [for] two months. You can't go out there and absolutely [hit well] for six months. It's impossible," Machado said after Friday's win. "It's just part of the game. I struggled early on. The only thing I can do is stay high, stay positive, and try and win games. At the end of the day, that's all that matters. My stats are going to go up there eventually. I'm going to hit, so I've got to stay positive, stay right, stay playing the game the right way, hustle, keep a smile on my face, and try and win ballgames."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.