Orioles third baseman Manny Machado had been waiting a long time for the perfect ground ball in the perfect situation. He picked it up, stepped on third base and relayed the ball to Jonathan Schoop, who winged it to Chris Davis for the team's second triple play this season.
For Machado, however, it was a first at any level.
"The first one ever," he said Friday. "It was pretty awesome. Me and Schoop have been talking about it for the last two or three years. He always tells me, 'Anything hit that way, try to turn it.'
"We've never gotten the perfect ground ball. That was just a perfect one that we got and we were able to turn it. We're lucky that we've got two good arms and were able to make the play."
Obviously, a triple play is almost always a combination of skill and luck, but skill plays a bigger role when the two guys throwing the ball possess two of the best infield arms in the sport.
"Both of those runners were fast," Machado said. "It's not like they were slow. [James] McCann is a catcher, but he can get down the line a little bit. It was just an exciting moment. That's something that's crazy. You don't see it very often, but it was fun to be a part of it.
"It's just opportunity. It's where the ball is hit. If it's a foot or two to the left, it's just a double-play ball. It's just a ball that was hit perfectly."
Showalter gets Wheatley Award
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been named the recipient of the 2017 Tim Wheatley Award. The award, given annually, was created by the Baltimore Sun Media Group to honor a local coach or athlete whose contributions off the field are as important as the ones on the field. Wheatley, Baltimore Sun sports editor from 2006-09, was tragically killed in a car accident while driving his daughter, Sarah, to school on Oct. 5, 2009. Wheatley was a strong believer in community service.
Each year, Showalter and his wife, Angela, host a 5K for kids to benefit KidsPeace Foster Care and Community Programs of Maryland — including KidsPeace Empowering Youth to Succeed. The race raises over $10,000 each year for these programs. Showalter also participates in the BARCS calendar and works closely with the Orioles Charitable Foundation.
Past winners from the Orioles are Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Darren O'Day. Ravens winners have included Domonique Foxworth, Torrey Smith and last year's winner, Steve Smith Sr.
Wheatley's children — David, Will and Sarah — presented the award to the Showalters before Friday's game.