Machado hits 16th HR, answers Harper's blast

May 29th, 2018

BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado and went toe to toe on Tuesday night, each clubbing homers in the first inning of the Orioles' 3-2 loss to the Nationals.

Machado, who like Harper is a pending free agent, sent 's 2-1 pitch just over the left-field wall and past the glove of a leaping Juan Soto for a two-out blast. It marked his 16th homer and 45th RBI, both of which lead the team, and tied the game at 1.

Machado, who went 2-for-4 in the loss, has hit safely in 43 of the 55 games he's played this year and entered the day with a .322 batting average. Harper went yard three pitches into the game, hitting his 17th homer of the year off Orioles starter in the top of the first.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was impressed with both stars, and believes Machado has a knack for rising to the occasion.

"There's a certain pride, these guys know each other," Showalter said of Machado and Harper. "Manny has been doing it to everybody regardless of who is on the other team. I know what it looked like, home run, home run. Single, single. Frankly, it's like when Manny gets challenged with someone throwing at him you've all seen how he responds. … He likes to be in those moments as opposed to shirking away from them. That's why he's so good, he likes to be put on that stage. I don't think it's 'Harper hit a home run and a single, I've got to hit a home run and a single.' It's still about trying to drive in runs for his team."