Heralded rookie Manny Machado made his second straight start at third base on Friday, an indication that the 20-year-old might play third base on a regular basis.

Initially, the Orioles' plan was to give Machado most of his starts against left-handed pitching while still allowing Wilson Betemit to play there against right-handers.


But with right-hander Luke Hochevar starting for the Royals on Friday night, Machado was back playing third and hitting eighth in the Orioles lineup.

So Betemit made his first start at first base since July 3 in Seattle, and Mark Reynolds, who has started every game besides one at first July 4, sat.

"We're going to take each day as it comes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We're going to serve our team's needs first and then keep in mind where Manny is in his day-to-day development. Today, it worked best this way. We'll see what tomorrow brings."

The switch-hitting Betemit, who hit a double in his first at-bat Friday, is hitting .304 against right-handed pitching and said he's fine with moving over to first while the club gives Machado time at third.

"Whatever I can do to help the team," Betemit said. "I don't have to worry, just throw on my glove and see where I am in the lineup. Just be ready.

"It doesn't mean a lot to me, because that's what I do once I got to the big leagues," Betemit added. "I had to play everywhere. I know the situation. I know this kid has to play. Obviously, he was a big prospect in the minor leagues and he has to play every day here. He is going to play third base now and hopefully he will do a good job."

Betemit has struggled at third, making 13 errors in 75 games there, but has a .991 fielding percentage at first in 12 games there.

"I understand," Betemit said. "I made a lot of errors [at third] and I know I am better than that. But that's the game, that happens and that's the situation. … I don't make that decision. I am here right now and any time they ask I'll try and help the team, second, first, outfield, wherever they put me I'll go and try to do my job."

Betemit playing at first would dig into Reynolds' time there. Reynolds became entrenched at first since early May after struggling at third (six errors in 15 games there) and has played well at first, but is hitting just .210 with 9 homers and 34 RBIs this season.

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