BALTIMORE -- If this is indeed Manny Machado's Baltimore farewell tour, he is making it must-see TV.Moving over from third base this season, the Platinum Glove Award winner hasn't missed a beat. Machado has been able to block out distractions about trade rumors and his future, and just concentrate on
BALTIMORE -- If this is indeed Manny Machado's Baltimore farewell tour, he is making it must-see TV.
Moving over from third base this season, the Platinum Glove Award winner hasn't missed a beat. Machado has been able to block out distractions about trade rumors and his future, and just concentrate on every at-bat, and every opportunity to contribute.
And contribute he did on Friday night. Machado homered twice, including a grand slam in the seventh, to record six RBIs and lead the Orioles to a 9-4 win over Tampa Bay at Camden Yards.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
"Manny knew that he was going to be asked to bring a lot of things to the table," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Machado, who already has four multi-homer games this season. "I think he took that as the confidence we had in him. … There was a lot of responsibility he knew he was going to have [at shortstop] and he really welcomed it and embraced it, so to speak. I think that's a real good sign of maturity."
Machado put the Orioles on the board first against Rays righty Jake Faria, sending a first-pitch slider into left-center field for a two-run blast with Adam Jones on base. The 25-year-old struck again with Baltimore up 4-1 in the seventh, this time sending Ryne Stanek's 1-0 slider over the fence to become the youngest Oriole to reach the 150-homer mark.
"Words can't even describe how exciting that it is, reaching that milestone," said Machado, noting the chance to do it in front of the home crowd. "Doing it with this organization, doing it with the team that [I've played with for seven years], I couldn't be any happier."
Machado also joins an impressive list thanks to his 18th career multi-homer game, third all time in the American League among players 26 or younger, behind Hal Trosky (20), A-Rod (19) and Jimmie Foxx (19). Mark Trumbo also went deep for the first time this season, opening up the bottom of the seventh inning with a shot before Machado put the game out of reach.
"The team is helping itself," said Machado. "We're never going to quit. That's what we have in here. … We're going to fight until the end. That's what this team is doing, and we've been doing that lately."
Kevin Gausman, who took a no-decision despite tossing nine scoreless innings during an extra-innings loss in Oakland his last time out, continues to dial things up. The righty, who went 7 1/3 with six strikeouts and two earned runs, has now allowed just three runs over his last three starts (22 innings). The Orioles entered Friday having starters throw two innings or fewer in three of the past seven games, and Gausman's recent performance has been a welcome reprieve.
Working on an extra day's rest, Gausman wasn't as crisp on Friday as he was against the A's. But despite allowing two hits apiece in the third through sixth innings -- and 11 total -- he escaped any major damage.
"Luckily, most of them were singles," Gausman said. "They're tough. They see a lot of pitches. They foul off a lot of pitches. They definitely didn't make it easy on me."
Tampa Bay scored first in the third inning, on C.J. Cron's single, and Gausman was charged with another run as part of three-run Rays eighth. Richard Bleier had a rare poor outing, recording just one out, while giving up three hits and two earned runs.
Chance Sisco also homered in the bottom of the eighth off Rays lefty Jonny Venters for his second blast of the year.
Machado is the fourth-fastest to reach 150 homers with the Orioles (802 games), behind Chris Davis (587), Rafael Palmeiro (623) and Frank Robinson (689).
HE SAID IT
"Really, from Spring Training on, he's looked locked-in from the get-go. ... But he's impressive every day. He does something that just kind of impresses you even more. We're definitely happy to have him on the team." -- Gausman, on Machado
David Hess, ranked as the Orioles No. 18 prospect, will get the ball for his Major League debut to kick off Saturday's doubleheader at 3:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards. Hess, who will be opposed by Tampa Bay's Chris Archer, is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in six games at Triple-A. Orioles righty -- and former Ray -- Alex Cobb will face off against Matt Andriese in Game 2, which starts 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.