Orioles shortstop Manny Machado apologized for not running out a double-play ball in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners, saying there was “no excuse” for his casual trot to first base.
Machado came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in a 1-1 game and hit a hard grounder to second baseman Dee Gordon that would have been a routine double-play ball, but shortstop Jean Segura double clutched as Adam Jones slid into second base.
A run scored on the play, but Machado’s pace drew a round of boos from the crowd at Camden Yards.
Machado said he believed he would have been out by 10 feet regardless because he hit it to Gordon so sharply, but said he still should have run out the ball.
“At the end of the day, there’s no excuse for not running it out,” Machado said before Wednesday’s game. “I take full responsibility for not running. I should have run hard. It looks bad. It looks bad for people who follow me, people who look up to me, and I fully apologize for letting people down, but next time, I’ll run. There’s no excuse for that.”
Before Wednesday’s game against the Mariners, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he spoke with Machado about the play.
“He’s better than that,” Showalter said. “Some people express frustration in different ways, but it’s still a really bad presentation and he knows that. The toughest thing about it is the poor presentation isn’t what he’s really about.”
Machado — who will likely be the Orioles’ representative in next month’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park — could be playing in his final home games. Machado represents the team’s biggest trade chip as the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline looms.
Machado, a longtime fan favorite in Baltimore, said he didn’t hear the boos directed his way as he made his way back to the dugout.
“I don’t hear that. I don’t hear any of that,” Machado said. “I’m really trying to be in the zone. I’m trying to win, trying to win games. I’m trying to block that out. That’s what you have to do when you’re in the big leagues. You can’t hear the boos. You can’t hear people cheering for you either. You have to keep yourself on that field and let your play dictate everything else.”
Machado did run out a grounder on his final at bat of the night Tuesday.