Tim machine: Beckham hot from get-go for O's

Shortstop excited for stretch run, logs 2 hits, 2 runs in Baltimore debut

August 1st, 2017

BALTIMORE -- Hours before he stepped out onto the Camden Yards field in an Orioles uniform for the first time on Tuesday, was confident he could help his new team.

He wasted no time proving it, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored in Baltimore's 7-2 series-clinching win over the Royals.

Acquired on Monday in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal with the Rays, part of Beckham's allure was that the O's felt the 27-year-old former No. 1 Draft pick was just coming into his own at the plate. And he got off to a good start, with an infield single that helped pave the way for three fifth-inning runs. He also doubled and scored in the seventh.

"I started not to play him today. He had a 10 o'clock departure out of Houston, got here 1:30 [p.m.]. I try to remind myself what it's like to be 27 instead of 60," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I'm sure there was some good nervousness so to speak. Sometimes there's a little added feel to the game when you have a new player, and a new pitcher tomorrow. Guys want to help their path be a little easier. That's the way it should be."

After Beckham came up short in his first two at-bats, his infield dribbler extended the fifth inning long enough for Seth Smith to double home a pair. followed with an RBI single to give the Orioles a five-run cushion.

Despite entering the game with a career .229 average with three homers in 38 plate appearances at Camden Yards, Beckham said he always looked forward to hitting at the O's home stadium.

He's also looking forward to Baltimore making a serious run at the postseason.

"I love it. Love it, man," Beckham said of the O's, who are 3 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second American League Wild Card spot, still going for it. "That is what we play the game for. To compete and win every game we touch the field. I want to win and I'm sure everyone in the clubhouse feels the same. We have a losing record, and there is some work to be done. I'm looking forward to it. "

Beckham is under team control through 2020 and has a Minor League option remaining, both of which were enticing to the O's. And if Tuesday is any indication, Beckham's bat should help an Orioles club currently missing shortstop J.J. Hardy.

"As far as just getting in there and playing every day [I've made some strides]," Beckham said. "Getting the everyday repetitions and being able to make adjustments day-to-day, that is what the game of baseball is about. As far as me being confident in my hitting ability and what I can do at the plate, it is definitely there. I know what I can do and I know I can help this club win some games."

Beckham's arrival, which caused to be designated for assignment, doesn't mean that will be relegated to the bench. Showalter said Tuesday that Tejada will still see action at shortstop and the club is considering Beckham -- who also has 55 career starts at second base -- primarily as a shortstop.

Showalter also confirmed Hardy -- who is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Aug. 18 -- will slot back into the starter role when he returns.