Mancini highlights 7-run inning in victory

July 20th, 2017

BALTIMORE -- proved yet again in Wednesday's 10-2 win over the Rangers why his bat is essential for the Orioles to have long-term success.
Mancini sparked a seven-run seventh inning with an infield single. The Orioles batted around, and Mancini came up to the plate again with the bases loaded. He delivered a 109.8-mph bullet, according to Statcast™, to right-center for a bases-clearing triple to give him a team-high two triples on top of his team-best .309 batting average.
"We put a lot of good at-bats together that inning and just kind of kept the line moving there," Mancini said. "I didn't know that [I was leading the team in triples] but yeah, absolutely [it feels good]. That's pretty funny."
Prior to the All-Star break, Mancini hit .312 with 44 RBIs and 14 home runs, but since the second half of the season got underway, the rookie was hitting just .222 with one home run entering Wednesday night. Mancini said that a quick conversation with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh in the middle of Wednesday's game helped him get back on the right track.
"For the most part, the success has come when I'm staying relaxed and not trying to do too much, not thinking about home runs or anything like that," Mancini said. "Tonight, after my second at-bat, I had kind of been coming out of my shoes a little bit. I wasn't swinging like I had been and I had a conversation with [Coolbaugh] there and he told me to load back slower and quiet everything down before the ball got there, but be aggressive and take my hands to the ball. He helped me out a lot there. I saw the ball better for sure."
Mancini led the American League and ranked fourth in the Majors with his .400 (22-for-55) average with runners in scoring position at the start of Wednesday's game. But, after his triple in the seventh, the rookie is now hitting .411 in that scenario.
"You think he might not be swinging the bat particularly well, he's one of those guys, you look up there and he's 1-for-4. That's where the batting average comes from," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "It's not the 4-for-4s. It's when you're not swinging the bat well and they're pitching you tough, which they are, that you sneak in that 1-for-4."
The Orioles have relied on Mancini's bat all season and will need to continue to do so to put on a late-season push in the AL East. His 44 RBIs before the All-Star break were the fifth-most in Orioles' history by a rookie, while his 14 first-half homers broke the franchise record for most home runs before the break by a rookie.
"As a rookie, I try to stay pretty even-keeled even if it might not be the case on the inside," Mancini said. "You want to stay even-keeled outwardly and just try to help your team win and try to do anything you can in that regard."