Manny Machado kept Orioles fans in their seats at Camden Yards on Tuesday night.
Although the San Diego Padres kept scoring, fueled by the former Orioles All-Star, 21,644 fans continued to cheer each time he came to the plate in an 8-3 loss to the Padres.
Machado, who batted third for the Padres, was greeted by a “Welcome Home Manny” message on the scoreboard and a standing ovation from the fans, many of whom were sporting Machado jerseys, in his first at-bat.
Jimmy Yacabonis, the starting pitcher, stepped off the mound to let him have his moment.
“I was in the minor leagues when he was here, when they had the good runs with the good teams and whatnot, and he had all his accomplishments,” Yacabonis said. “It was cool. I saw it up on the board, so I just took a step off the mound.”
Machado struck out, but came back up in the third and hit a home run, his 100th at Camden Yards but his first in an opposing jersey.
Despite the home run increasing the Padres’ lead to 5-1, Padres and Orioles fans alike jumped to their feet. And when he came up again in the fourth and brought another Padres runner in on a single, Orioles fans cheered again.
“That was well deserved for a great player, incredibly talented, and somebody who’s done a lot here and played a lot of big games here,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
There wasn’t much else beyond Machado’s return for the Orioles fans to celebrate.
First baseman Trey Mancini singled in the first inning to bring Hanser Alberto home, which improved his first-inning batting average to .436 and gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
In the third, left fielder Dwight Smith Jr. doubled to score Jonathan Villar, who had walked, and trimmed the Padres’ lead 5-2. But Smith fell off third base and was tagged out by Machado when trying to advance on an error on the play.
Adley Rutschman, the Orioles No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft, also was introduced on the field during the game, giving the crowd a look at the future executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias hopes to build.
A potential piece of that future, Rule 5 shortstop Richie Martin, homered in the seventh to make it 8-3. It was his fourth of the year.
Alberto’s 4-for-5 performance qualified him for the batting title. His .318 average ranks fourth in the American League.
“He’s making the most of a unique opportunity here where guys are getting a lot of major league playing time that they might not get in a lot of other organizations,” Hyde said. “I thought we swung the bat pretty well, to be honest with you. We got some loud outs. We only had three runs, but we had a ton of hits and a ton of hard-hit balls.”
But the Orioles’ pitching minimized the positives.
The Orioles (22-57) tried out using an opener, and it worked well for the first inning.
Yacabonis (1-2) held the Padres (39-40) to no hits and one walk, and allowed the Orioles to get ahead with Mancini’s RBI.
Then, the Padres, who failed to hit a single home run in their 11-10 extra-inning loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, started hitting balls out of the park.
In the second, Yacabonis gave up a double to Manuel Margot, which scored two to make it 2-1.
Fernando Tatis Jr. came to the plate and brought Margot home with the first home run of the game to double the lead to 4-1 before Yacabonis got out of the inning.
Yacabonis came back in the third and immediately gave up the Machado home run. When left-hander Josh Rogers took over with one out in the third, the Orioles were down 5-1, and Yacabonis left the game with a 5.96 ERA.
With the opener out, Rogers was meant to supply length, but he proceeded to dig the Orioles into a deeper hole. He allowed three runs with two coming on solo homers in 2 1/3 innings. Rogers and Yacabonis combined to allow four homers in five innings.
The Orioles relievers controlled the game from there, with Miguel Castro and Branden Kline holding the Padres to two hits over four scoreless frames, but the Orioles bats could not overcome the five-run deficit.
Gilmartin designated, Orioles claim Scott
The Orioles designated left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin for assignment, opening a 40-man roster spot for Tayler Scott, who they claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. Scott, a 27-year-old right-hander who is the first South African-born pitcher in major league history, started against Baltimore on Thursday in an opener role, walking three and getting two outs.