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Manny Machado contributes in big way to Baltimore Orioles' 6-4 win

By
Jeff Seidel, The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado (L) and Jonathan Schoop. Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado (L) and Jonathan Schoop. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado did not do everything for the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays. But he sure came close.

Machado homered twice, had three hits and three RBIs, stole two bases and made a great play on defense as the Orioles outlasted a long rain delay and the Blue Jays to post a 6-4 victory.

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The third baseman went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. He also stole two bases in the fourth inning that made him just the second Orioles player to hit 30 homers and swipe 20 bases in one season. Brady Anderson was the other, last accomplished in 1999.

"Obviously, Manny, he was the difference-maker today on both sides of the ball," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

On defense, Machado started a 5-4-3 double play that stopped Toronto (92-67) after its leadoff batter reached in the ninth. The best play, though, came in the fourth when Machado dived to grab a smash off the bat of second baseman Darwin Barney and threw him out to save a run and end the inning.

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Machado has wanted to play 162 games this season, and he's on pace for that. After seeing his past two years end with serious injuries, Machado wanted to show something different this year.

Machado now has 33 homers -- he hit a two-run blast in the first and a solo shot in the sixth -- and 82 RBIs and is batting .287, along with his 20 steals.

"That was my whole mind-set throughout the whole year ... come out here and show what I can do," he said. "I went out there and did everything they asked for, go out there and play every day, bring everything to this team to try to win."

The starting time for Thursday's game was moved from 7:05 to 12:05 p.m. because of concerns about the impending storm (Hurricane Joaquin) that is starting to affect the East Coast. Still, the rains came, got harder throughout the first inning, and a three-hour, 25-minute delay ensued after the inning ended.

But the Orioles (78-81) were able to get past all that and at least keep alive the possibility of a .500 season with their second straight victory.

The Blue Jays again took it easy after clinching the American League East title in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader. Manager John Gibbons loaded his lineup with guys who played in the minors most of the season in an attempt to give his regulars a break for the second straight game.

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"You're talking about the guys who haven't had a whole lot of chance to play," Gibbons said. "We've been playing our regulars for quite a while, trying to win this thing, and they got a chance the last two days. That's good for them. They needed that."

Gibbons even said the Blue Jays, who were going to start top pitcher David Price before scratching him, won't use the left-hander until Game 1 of the Division Series.

"When you get to this point in the season and you've played over 150 games, if you can give those guys a day off or a couple days off, it goes a long ways," Price said.

The Blue Jays (92-67) have lost two straight since clinching the American League East title in the opener of Wednesday's doubleheader. Toronto's lead is now just one-half game over the Kansas City Royals, pending their game with the Chicago White Sox, in the battle for the top record in the American League and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

The Jays hold the tiebreaker with the Royals, and Gibbons is expected to bring back his regulars on Friday in Tampa Bay.

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Right-hander Tyler Wilson started for the Orioles but lasted just one inning because of the rain. Left-hander T.J. McFarland (1-2) got the win after replacing Wilson following the restart and giving up one run in four innings.

Left-hander Zach Britton closed it in the ninth for his 35th save. That was his first save since Sept. 19 after battling problems with a sore left lat muscle.

Machado's two-run homer and first baseman Steve Pearce's RBI double off Toronto starter Drew Hutchison (13-5) gave Baltimore a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

After the delay, Paul Janish's RBI single off left-hander Jeff Francis boosted the Orioles' lead to 4-0. Janish came on after Jonathan Schoop left following the long delay. The second baseman had suffered a right-hand contusion when Hutchison hit him with a pitch in the first.

The Jays got on the board when third baseman Munenori Kawasaki had an RBI groundout in the fourth. Center fielder Nolan Reimold's RBI single and the second Machado homer pushed the Baltimore lead back to 6-1.

Toronto added three runs in the seventh, with the big hit being right fielder Ezequiel Carrera's two-run double that sliced the Orioles' lead to 6-4. But Baltimore held on after that.

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NOTES: 3B Manny Machado's two-home run effort was the fourth time he has hit more than one in a game this season. It was the sixth time he has done it in his career. ... Orioles LHP Brian Matusz will have a minor surgical procedure on his non-throwing shoulder after the season. The team has said the problem did not affect Matusz this year. The Blue Jay pitchers walked eight batters in this game, a season high. ... Toronto SS Troy Tulowitzki now appears to be moving closer to a return this weekend against Tampa Bay in the season's final series.

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