One day after his 25th birthday, Machado homered twice and drove in four runs in going 4-for-5 in the Orioles’ 9-6 loss to the Minnesota Twins. His first home run came on the back end of back-to-back homers to open the game against Twins starter Felix Jorge. He added a three-run blast in the third inning off Jorge to help the Orioles build an early 6-0 lead that would quickly disappear in the fourth and fifth innings.
“No, we lost, we lost, so it doesn’t matter,” Machado said. “It doesn’t matter. I want to win. A day like this, it’s not a good day. It’s a bad day. I hit two homers and drove in a couple runs, but at the end of the day it’s all about Ws. I’m not going to go out there and be happy about my day. Tomorrow’s another day and hopefully we come out there and I can do the same thing to try to help my team win and put us in a good position.”
Machado has had one other two-homer, four-RBI game this season, in a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on June 20 at Camden Yards.
There have been several times this season when Machado appeared to be on the verge of breaking out, and Friday’s performance was the latest that can fall into that category. But Machado has been unable to build on those games to pull out of his first-half funk.
Machado’s power numbers are there. He has a team-high 18 homers and 45 RBIs. But his four-hit day Friday only lifted his batting average to .224.
Machado has been hitting the ball hard, but has little to show for it in terms of hits. Machado leads the majors with 81 batted balls with an exit velocity of 102 mph or higher.
That can only be attributed to some bad luck, even though Machado has been pull-happy throughout the season.
But one indication that Machado is showing signs of pulling out of his funk is that two of his hits, including his first homer of the night, were hard-hit balls to the opposite field. Machado is at his best when he’s spraying the ball around the diamond.
His first-inning homer went just over the right-field porch at a speed of 104.5 mph. Machado’s seventh-inning single went off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field with an exit velocity of 105.2 mph and was the hardest-hit ball all night.
Still, the fact that those hits came in a losing effort left Machado disappointed.
“This is what we’re going through right now,” Machado said. “It’s just going to make us stronger down the line. The more you get together, the more you keep playing as a team. We’ll just keep going stronger as a team and at the end of the day we’re going to have something better than another team will have. We’ve just got to keep grinding it out, keep playing and things will start turning around. Hits will start falling and things will start going our way sometime. Obviously, we don’t know when that’s going to be, but all we can do and control is going out there and playing and just leaving it on the field like we did today.”