It starts at the bottom

With all due respect to new leadoff hitter Nick Markakis, the bottom third of the Orioles’ lineup did the heavy lifting last night.

No. 7 hitter Nate McLouth, No. 8 hitter Manny Machado and No. 9 hitter Omar Quintanilla were a combined 7-for-12 with a double, three home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored.

Seven RBIs. In a 7-1 victory over the Royals.

That’s heavy lifting.

Manager Buck Showalter didn’t want Quintanilla’s two-run homer in the second inning to get lost in the Machado shuffle. Quintanilla gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead after Salvador Perez had put the Royals ahead in the top half with a solo shot off Miguel Gonzalez.

“I thought Q’s home run was as big as any of them,” Showalter said.

Here’s how it went down:

“I was ahead in the count, 3-1, and just looking for a fastball somewhere I can drive, and I got a good piece of wood on it and it went out of the park,” Quintanilla said.

“It was pretty big. After that we took the lead and the team did a great job of putting some extra runs on the board. Can’t say enough about Miguel. He did a great job tonight, and overall a great team effort.”

Quintanilla went 3-for-4 and is 7-for-14 with a home run, three RBIs and four runs scored in his last three games.

“I’m just trying to go out there and do my job every day,” he said. “This game is tough and all you can do is just go out there and give it all you’ve got and fundamentals - either moving a guy over or getting on base. Just going out there and grinding at bats out and getting outs on defense.”

Quintanilla appreciated Machado’s contributions as much as the next guy.

“Wow. He’s done an awesome job so far,” Quintanilla said. “For somebody his age to come up and do what he’s done, it’s incredible, and you know he’s got a lot of years to go and I wish him the best.”

I’d like to share an idea that I’ve come up with for next season, assuming Quintanilla is still on the team. As a between-innings feature on the video board, the Orioles should have Quintanilla pass along some obscure, random fun-fact that the club could research for him.

Call it “Q-Tips.”

You’re welcome.

Leftover notes from last night:

Machado is the second Oriole to hit two homers in a game within his first two career games, joining Curt Blefary, who did it on April 17, 1965 in his second game against the Red Sox at age 21 years, 286 days.

Pedro Strop extended his scoreless-innings streak to 15 games since July 3.

I’ll also offer an apology for the comments that won’t seem to approve no matter how hard I try to move them. Disqus is messing with me tonight. Hopefully, the problem will be resolved before Machado’s 21st birthday.

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