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Beckham bringing plenty of 'Swag' to Orioles

Since being acquired from Rays, shortstop seeing success at plate
Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- The hits just keep on coming for Tim Beckham (aka "Swaggy T") the Oriole.

Prior to the trade that brought him to Baltimore, the shortstop had hit .247 in 238 games with Tampa Bay. In the 24 games since joining the O's, Beckham has transformed into a hitting machine, posting a .396 average while hitting safely in 22 games, including Saturday, when he launched a majestic three-run homer to help Baltimore to a 7-0 win at Fenway Park.

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BOSTON -- The hits just keep on coming for Tim Beckham (aka "Swaggy T") the Oriole.

Prior to the trade that brought him to Baltimore, the shortstop had hit .247 in 238 games with Tampa Bay. In the 24 games since joining the O's, Beckham has transformed into a hitting machine, posting a .396 average while hitting safely in 22 games, including Saturday, when he launched a majestic three-run homer to help Baltimore to a 7-0 win at Fenway Park.

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"I think he's doing a lot more than anybody expected him to do coming over here," Saturday's winning pitcher, Kevin Gausman, said. "We've played against him a lot. Obviously, he's playing with his hair on fire right now. It's really exciting to watch."

"He's been great in a short sampling," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's fit in pretty seamlessly. You can tell he wants to take advantage with this fresh start with some people who know what he needs and what he brings."

Beckham began his Orioles career by rattling off a 12-game hit streak, joining David Newhan (15 games in 2004) and Javy Lopez (13 games in '04) as the lone Baltimore players to start their career with such a streak, earning him American League Player of the Week honors (July 31-Aug. 6) in the process.

At the top of the lineup, Beckham has been integral in setting the table for an offense that is averaging six runs per game since his arrival.

"Timmy's brought a lot for us, especially in that leadoff spot," Showalter said. "He's really made things fit well offensively."

"I like batting leadoff," Beckham said. "You can set the tone with that first at-bat of the game. That's something I like to do. If I see a pitch I can drive, I'm going to take a hack at it."

On Saturday, Beckham took a mighty hack at one, battling in a nine-pitch at-bat vs. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez before unleashing a shot that was cleared for takeoff from Fenway Park entirely until a large advertisement above the Green Monster seats made it just a mere souvenir.

Video: BAL@BOS: Orioles collect five runs in offensive 2nd

"I was just battling," the O's shortstop explained. "Once you get down, 3-2, you have runners in scoring position, I knew the first at-bat, he struck me out on a fastball looking. I didn't want him to get me looking at a fastball again. He kept going there, and I wanted to keep fouling him off until I got a pitch I could handle and do something with."

Rejuvenated, Beckham is enjoying his new environs, hitting atop one of the more potent lineups in the AL while still battling for extra games at the end of the season.

"It's been really fun. We're playing winning baseball. When you're winning, everything's better," Swaggy T said. "We have a well-put-together lineup. One through nine can bang around the ballpark. It's fun to watch and fun to be a part of."

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston who covered the Orioles on Saturday.

Baltimore Orioles, Tim Beckham