Baltimore Orioles’ magic by Manny Machado in grand fashion

Manny Machado demonstrated one of the reasons why the Baltimore Orioles need to sign him to a long-term deal last night. And by any means necessary at that. The Birds can’t allow Machado to walk; not for what he does in the field, and not for what he can do at the plate. Machado is a prime time player, and he demonstrated that in grand fashion last night.

Home run was the word of the day at the yard last night. Jeremy Hellickson dug the O’s into an early hole, however the fact is that the ball flew out of Oriole Park all night on both sides. Hellickson’s line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Hellickson was throwing strikes – if anything, he was getting too much of the plate. Before having played an inning-and-a-half, Anaheim had hit three home runs and the O’s trailed 5-0.

Mark Trumbo‘s solo homer in the last of the second got the Orioles on the board and cut the Anaheim lead to 5-1. One inning later Caleb Joseph added a solo shot, followed by a two-run homer by Machado. Suddenly the O’s were right in the thick of the game, trailing only 5-4.

But Anaheim’s a team that has it’s share of weapons, one of which is a guy named Trout. He smacked a two-run homer in the fifth to give his team a 7-4 lead over the Orioles. That could have been the coup de grace in a sense. But maybe the O’s learned from playing games out on the west coast against pesky teams. It’s not really over until it’s over.

Machado would foreshadow his eventual heroics in the last of the fifth with his second home run of the game, this one a solo shot. That cut the Anaheim lead to 7-5, but the O’s still had work to do. The Orioles’ pen held things where they were through until the last of the ninth. And as we know, the home team bats last.

The Birds had the bases loaded after two hits and a walk with one gone. And that brought Machado to the plate, trailing 7-5. When a guy comes up in that situation who’s already smacked two homers, it’s in the backs of people’s minds that he might smack a third. But…does the law of averages not say that odds are it won’t happen? Orioles fans would have settled for a single, which probably would have tied the game. But instead…

…they were in fact treated to Machado’s third home run of the game – this one a grand slam. And a walk off grand slam at that! Both the Birds and the fans went home happy last night, with the Orioles winning in shocking comeback fashion, by the score of 9-7.

After the game Machado said all of the right things in that he was trying to take what the defense would give him. However it had to be in the back of his mind that he could end the game (in grand fashion) – and he did (quote courtesy of Brittany Ghiroli,

You try to get one [run in] at least. That’s my mentality going up there, which is at least, ‘Get one guy in with less than two outs,’ with a guy like that. Just put the ball up in the air. I’ve been fortunate to have a little more power and get a little stronger as the years go on and those fly balls keep going a little bit.

At the end of the day, that’s a great win for the Orioles. And a great moment for Manny Machado. Again, the Orioles need to see him and this situation for what they are. Through any means necessary, Machado needs to be an Oriole in the long term.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s JC Romero. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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