Manny Machado hit three home runs as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the ChiSox 10-2 in the series finale on the south side of Chicago.
Manny Machado seems to have turned into more of a doubles hitter for the Baltimore Orioles than a home run king. And that’s probably okay; with the way he plays defense, he could probably be a singles hitter who strikes out too much and be fine. But yesterday on the south side of Chicago, he was certainly letting it fly.
Machado had a career day, with three homers in the game. In all sincerity, this is the type of game that Machado will look back on once his career is over, knowing that it was special. It was also a big win for the Orioles, who by virtue of a Toronto loss are now atop the AL East by one game.
The Birds also got another solid outing from Dylan Bundy, who kept Chicago at bay for most of the afternoon. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K. With how Bundy’s pithced since coming into the rotation, you can almost view it as a trade for a front-line starter given the timing. Either way, Bundy’s been excellent. The only problem he had yesterday is that he was in effect overshadowed by Machado!
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The drama got sucked out of this one early on in the game. Machado smacked his first homer of the afternoon in the top of the first with one runner on base. Granted a 2-0 lead isn’t insurmountable from Chicago’s perspective, but it certainly set the tone for the day. Suddenly one inning later it was 3-0, as J.J. Hardy hit a solo homer.
Later in that same second inning, Machado came back up to bat with two runners on. And he didn’t disappoint, this time hitting a three-run homer to open the game wide open and run the score to 6-0. By the time Chris Davis had hit a solo homer of his own, and Pedro Alvarez an RBI-single, the O’s had put six runs on the board in the second inning and ran the score to 8-2.
But they weren’t done yet! Machado had one trick still up his sleeve, as he got an additional at-bat in the third inning. And once again he launched a ball into the grandstand, this time with the bases empty. Chicago would net a run in the fourth and in the sixth, but this game turned into a snoozer fast as the Birds won the game 10-2, taking the series.
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As I said, Manny Machado will look back on this game years from now and know that it was special. You don’t hit three home runs in a game everyday, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. And as I said above, Toronto is now one game back of the Orioles, as they lost yesterday. So the entire weekend kind of came together well for the Birds – for now.
The O’s took two-of-three from the ChiSox, who of course have been reeling for some time. On a further positive note, Ubaldo Jimenez worked three solid innings in relief for the Orioles once Bundy came out. Whether or not that’s an exception to the rule or not is another story, but he was good yesterday.
The Birds now head to the west coast to open up a four-game set in Oakland. Kevin Gausman will be on the hill for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Kendall Graveman. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.