Manny Machado had a crowd of reporters waiting for him after tonight’s game. He also had traces of the shaving cream pie he received still wedged in his ears.
I suppose he wouldn’t mind having to clean it off every night.
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” he said.
Machado had a pretty good idea that the first ball was going to settle into the left field seats.
“I put some good wood on it,” he said. “I kind of figured it was going to go out.”
And the second one?
“Yeah, no doubt,” he said.
Asked about his emotions running around the bases, Machado said, “It was the best feeling ever. The crowd here loves me, and for them to support me like that after my first home run, it just felt great. The best feeling ever.”
Is he more comfortable now?
“I wouldn’t say I’m still comfortable,” he replied. “There’s still a lot of ballgames to play, but little by little it’s getting up there. I’m getting more comfortable at third base. I’m getting more comfortable at the plate.”
Machado came out of the dugout after his second home run for a rare Camden Yards curtain call.
“It was great,” he said, adding that Adam Jones pushed him up the steps. “I’ve dreamed about that my whole life, about going out there and getting that curtain call, and my second game in the big leagues I get it. It was great.”
Machado agreed that it’s a “new era.”
“We haven’t won in a long time and this ballclub has been winning without me. And hopefully now that I’m up here, I can contribute to the team and help them start winning.
“Buck (Showalter) brought me up for a reason and it was to help this team, so I’m going to do anything I can to help this team and try to make the playoffs.”
Machado said he got the first home run ball in exchange for “just a few balls and a couple hats and a bat.”
As for the same fan catching both balls, Machado said, “I was surprised. I heard it in the dugout. Somebody told the officer the same kid caught both balls. I was like, ‘What? That’s crazy.’”
Slightly more crazy than Miguel Gonzalez barely getting noticed after pitching a gem - one run in a career-high eight innings to improve his record to 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA.
The key was “just throwing strikes, getting ahead of guys,” Gonzalez said.
“My sinker worked well and my changeup was good, so just changed pitches, mixed it in pretty well.
“I stayed aggressive. I stayed in and out, changing pitches. That’s what helped me out tonight.”
Is Gonzalez growing more comfortable with each start?
“Yes, I think so, and it’s all around,” he said. “The team looks great. We’ve been playing great and that’s what we’re trying to do. And I’m here to help out the team.”
Gonzalez enjoyed Machado’s power display and curtain call from the dugout.
“I’m happy for him,” Gonzalez said. “His first two in the major leagues. There’s going to be more coming. I’m real happy for him.”