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Machado called for first pitch clock violation under baseball's new rules

San Diego Padres slugger Manny Machado made a bit of baseball history by becoming the first batter to be cited for violating Major League Baseball's new pitch clock rule. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
San Diego Padres slugger Manny Machado made a bit of baseball history by becoming the first batter to be cited for violating Major League Baseball's new pitch clock rule. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- San Diego Padres slugger Manny Machado has committed the first pitch clock violation in a spring training game after he was not set in the batters box when the clock reached 8 seconds.

Friday's game against the Seattle Mariners was meant to be a trial run for the baseball's new rules which aim to speed up the pace of games.

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Home plate umpire Ryan Blakney called time out after Machado did not bring his left foot inside the batters box as the seconds ticked down.

"That time came by quick," Machado told ESPN after the game.

The contest took only 2 hours and 29 minutes as the new format appears to be speeding up play. Under the new rules, pitchers have 15 seconds to start their delivery when the bases are empty and 20 seconds with runners on base. They are given an additional ball if the clock expires.

"It's going to be an interesting year," Machado said. "It's going to be fun. Who knows where this leads? There's going to be a lot of strategy that goes into this."

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Padres manager Bob Melvin said players would have to be in shape enough to handle the new pace.

"If this is going to be the pace of these games, I'm OK with it," he told MLB.com. "First look, so far, so good."

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