By the time the Kansas City Royals left Baltimore with a four-game series split, they had seen enough of a certain 20-year-old rookie infielder.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado’s first four major league games came against the Royals, and Machado was 6-for-16 with three homers and seven RBIs against Kansas City. Five of his six hits were for extra bases -- three homers, a triple and a double.
And after these first four games, you can add the Royals among those impressed with the 20-year-old phenom.
"The Orioles have a very good player,” said Sunday’s Royals starter Bruce Chen, a former Oriole. “He’s 20 years old and has never played above Double-A, so he’s being thrown into the fire. He has responded very well. He looks like he’s going to be a good player for a long time. We’d better get used to making good pitches against him because he looks like a real good player."
Royals manager Ned Yost slightly played down Machado’s two-homer game on Friday, saying that Machado hit two mistake pitches against Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar. But after Sunday’s game, he praised Machado heavily.
"I was impressed,” Yost said. “The scouting reports we got said he had a couple of holes in his swing. We couldn’t find them. He hurt us. He won two games for them against us. He hits the ball to center field and to left field. I was really impressed for a kid who hasn’t played much third base with his defensive play at third. He’s going to be a nice player. He doesn’t miss a hanger, and that’s the mark of a good hitter."
After today’s off-day, we’ll see how Machado impresses the Boston Red Sox, who come to Camden Yards Tuesday for a three-game series.
Read more about Machado in Tuesday’s Baltimore Sun.