Orioles getting top production from top of order (O’s lose 9-8 in 10th)

Nate McLouth and Manny Machado have combined for eight hits, two RBIs and five runs scored today.

The Orioles have a pretty nice one-two combination at the top of their order.

McLouth produced his first four-hit game in four years. Machado has his first career four-hit game.

McLouth, who’s scored four of the runs, is batting .351. He’s making $2 million this season. That’s quite a bargain.

Machado, who’s accounted for both RBIs, has raised his average to .302. He seems pretty comfortable in the second slot.

McLouth has now reached base in 22 of his last 36 plate appearances.

Brian Matusz is returning for the bottom of the ninth inning with the Orioles clinging to an 8-6 lead. Manager Buck Showalter has used Jim Johnson in five of the past six games and wants to lay off him today.

Matusz recorded a save at Triple-A Norfolk last season, so he’s no stranger to this closer stuff.

Update: Matusz just served up his first home run, a two-run shot to Yoenis Cespedes to tie the game.

Cespedes came off the disabled list today.

Update II: Tough loss.

Pedro Strop gave up a leadoff single in the 10th, committed a throwing error on a bunt and took the loss when Machado fielded a Coco Crisp bunt and fired it into left field.

Machado’s 100 mph heater was more than J.J. Hardy could handle as he covered third base.

Strop remains a concern, and not due to his shoddy fielding. He doesn’t seem to know where the ball is going, and not just on bunt plays.

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