Manny Machado joins 20-20 club, carries Orioles to 6-4 win over Blue Jays

Manny Machado hit two homers and stole two bases in a 6-4 win against the Blue Jays.

The Orioles’ postseason hopes might be gone, but third baseman Manny Machado is still playing like these October games mean something.

Machado homered before and after a 3-hour, 25-minute rain delay Thursday in the Orioles’ 6-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, who weren’t using any regulars after clinching the American League East on Wednesday.

The Orioles (78-81) kept alive hopes of avoiding a losing season with the victory before an announced 18,257 -- though by the time the game resumed at 4:04 p.m., there were only a few hundred people remaining at Camden Yards.  

The start time had been moved up seven hours to shortly after noon to accommodate expected rain, but the teams managed to get only one inning in before play was delayed. Thursday’s saga continued a challenging week that included a rainout Tuesday and a lengthy doubleheader Wednesday, though the victory allowed the Orioles to improve to 8-11 this season against the Blue Jays (92-67).

“You think about the time spent here the last two days. I'm real proud of them after that first game [of the doubleheader, a 15-2 loss], the way they came back and responded,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Obviously, Manny, he was the difference-maker today on both sides of the ball.”

As part of a three-run first, Machado homered to left against Toronto starter Drew Hutchison (13-5). In the sixth, Machado hit a solo homer to center against Toronto reliever Chad Jenkins. It was Machado’s 33rd homer of the season, the fourth time this year he has gone deep twice in a game and the sixth multi-homer performance of his career.

The 23-year-old made a little club history in between those two blasts.

In the fourth inning, Machado singled and then stole second and third, for his 19th and 20th stolen bases of 2015.

It’s the seventh time in modern Orioles history in which a player reached at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in one year and just the second time an Oriole has had 30-plus homers and 20 stolen bases in one campaign.

Current club vice president Brady Anderson hit 50 homers and stole 21 bases in 1996. Anderson also accomplished the 20-20 feat in 1992 and 1999. The others were Paul Blair (1969), Don Baylor (1975) and Reggie Jackson (1976).

“It’s an honor. It’s something I worked hard for. First of all, I want to thank my coaches. … They’ve helped me out. They’ve helped me out through the process,” Machado said. “At the end of the day, I’ve worked hard to get here to this position and it’s just an honor to go out there and put myself in that position.”

Rookie Tyler Wilson started Thursday and pitched one scoreless inning before the rain delay. Lefty T.J. McFarland (1-2) replaced him to start the second -- almost four hours after Wilson’s first pitch -- and threw four innings, allowing just one run, for the win.

With a scoreless ninth, Orioles closer Zach Britton notched his 35th save of the season in a game that lasted 3:12 and ended nearly seven hours after it started.

“It’s been a long day. We weren’t supposed to play today until 7 o’clock and we almost played at seven,” Machado said. “It’s just part of the grind, part of the game. It sucks that it happened so late, but it’s just stuff we have to deal with.”

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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