OAKLAND -- Trey Mancini's big bat has given Orioles manager Buck Showalter a lot of flexibility with his lineup, a point the Baltimore rookie drove home emphatically yet again with two big swings during a 7-2 win over the A's on Thursday night.On a night when Showalter rested slumping first
OAKLAND -- Trey Mancini's big bat has given Orioles manager Buck Showalter a lot of flexibility with his lineup, a point the Baltimore rookie drove home emphatically yet again with two big swings during a 7-2 win over the A's on Thursday night.
On a night when Showalter rested slumping first baseman Chris Davis, Mancini moved in from the outfield and continued his remarkable season by clobbering a pair of home runs, his 19th and 20th of the season.
Mancini doubled in the second then went back-to-back with Adam Jones in the fourth and again with Mark Trumbo in the sixth. It marked the ninth time that the Orioles have gone back-to-back this season.
"It was a big night for us," Mancini said after the first game in his career with three extra-base hits. "We just kind of kept it rolling consistently throughout the game. It felt like we had a good offensive night."
It was the fourth multi-homer game of the season for Mancini, who hit three home runs in all of 2016 before his power surge this year.
In a lineup featuring sluggers like Jonathan Schoop (25 HRs), Manny Machado (21 HRs), Jones (21 HRs), Trumbo (18 HRs) and Davis (18 HRs), the 25-year-old Mancini is holding his own.
I don't know if it's unexpected," Mancini said. "I didn't really think too much before the season about how many home runs do I think I'm going to hit, but it definitely feels good, especially back in Spring Training, not really knowing where I was going to be this year."
The Baltimore rookie already has a star-filled resume in the big leagues. Mancini went into Thursday eighth in the Majors with a .386 average with runners in scoring position after earlier this season becoming only the fourth rookie since 1876 to have two multi-home run games in April.
"I was trying just to hit the ball to right-center, especially off of [A's starter Chris] Smith," Mancini said. "You have to be patient with him. He mixes his pitches up and sometimes you can get a tendency to get too big on a guy like him. Just kind of slowing yourself down and really concentrating on seeing the ball is important."
Mancini's first home run against the A's came on a first-pitch swing. The second, also off of Smith, came with one out in the sixth.
"I tried to quick-pitch him and he hit it, then I tried to go fastball away and he hit it," Smith said. "That guy is on fire right now and I just ran in there with a gas can on my back."
Mancini's big day ended a 3-for-23 slump.
"Every time you think Trey's getting ready to maybe have a little [rough] spot that some rookies do, he seems to get right back on track," Showalter said. "That's a real testament to him and how strong he is mentally."
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Orioles on Thursday.