There haven't been many ways to get Manny Machado out lately, but the Cleveland Indians found this series that the best way to stall a potential Orioles rally is to walk him.
For the second time this series, the Indians walked Machado intentionally with first base open, and putting an extra base runner on base paid off.
The Orioles were one hit away from tying the game several times in their 2-1 loss to the Indians on Monday night at Camden Yards, including a third inning in which Craig Gentry was on second base with two outs against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.
Gentry reached on a leadoff single and stole second as Tim Beckham struck out. After Pedro Álvarez popped up to second, Machado was issued an intentional walk with first base open.
On the first pitch of the ensuing at-bat, Adam Jones hit into a force play at second base to end the inning, the beginning of a frustrating night for Jones, who also stranded two runners in the eighth.
In Friday night’s series opener, Indians starter Trevor Bauer allowed a two-run double to Trey Mancini to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead with one out in the fifth, but then struck out Álvarez and walked Machado intentionally with first base open.
That against brought up Jones, who hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat. The Orioles still won that game 3-1, their only win in the four-game wrap-around series against the Indians.
Machado was walked intentionally one other time this season. On April 10, with runners at second and third and one out in the eighth inning of a 1-1 game, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez walked Machado intentionally, and Jonathan Schoop hit into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch of the next at-bat.
Machado also made a costly base-running miscue in Monday’s game in the sixth inning after drawing a one-out walk from Carrasco, running through second base on Jones’ lineout to center field and getting doubled off first.
Machado singled in the eighth against Andrew Miller to put two on with two outs, but Jones grounded out to end that inning.