Trey Mancini underwent an MRI on his right knee tonight and his spot in the lineup and atop the order is in jeopardy for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Indians.
Mancini sustained a couple of “punctures” in the knee, according to manager Buck Showalter, and he’s likely to receive stitches to close the wounds. Nothing more serious was included in the update following a 3-1 Orioles victory at Camden Yards.
Yonder Alonso’s fly ball into foul territory drove Mancini near the left field seats. Mancini slid and tried to make a backhanded catch, and he jammed the knee below the padding.
Head athletic trainer Brian Ebel rushed on the field as Mancini grabbed the knee and grimaced in pain. Mancini, who’s batting .284/.352/.420, didn’t appear to be laboring as he walked off the field and is considered day-to-day.
“He’s got a puncture in there, too. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. They’re contemplating a couple of sutures but we’ll see,” Showalter said.
“For him to come out of the game, he got pretty stiff.”
Showalter said Mancini didn’t campaign to stay in the game.
“We had him run a little bit and he said, ‘I’m just not going to be able to do what needs to be done here,’” Showalter said. “Not exactly those words, though.”
Fortunately for Mancini and the Orioles, the only thing he broke was a 1-1 tie with his two-run double in the fifth inning.
“The slide and the wall and everything like that, you just never know,” said reliever Richard Bleier, who tossed two scoreless innings after replacing starter Dylan Bundy in the seventh. “You see so many times guys get hung up in there and pull their knee back or whatever and I’m just glad he was able to walk off the field and hopefully he’s OK.”
“Yeah, it was bad, it was bad,” said shortstop Manny Machado, who homered in the fourth to tie the game 1-1 and made a lunging stop up the middle and flip to second base to get the force and strand two runners in the seventh..
“With this cold and sliding into that brick wall, it’s no fun. That hurts. Hopefully everything’s all right and it comes back negative. We need him. He’s a big part of this team and hopefully he’s all right.”
Machado hit his first career home run on a 3-0 count.
“Honestly, it’s just a matter of just kind of staying short,” he said. “It’s tough I’m not a big free swinger at 3-0. I never make good contact with it, you try to get too big and try to do too much and that’s the tradition. But I think I’m feeling pretty good with my swing, staying in the zone, trying to stay under control. And it was a hell of a pitch. I look back at it and it was a hell of apitch and I was just trying to make some good contact with it.”
The sliding stop up the middle to rob José Ramirez allowed the Orioles to hold their two-run lead and will appear among the highlights replayed.
“Knowing the clock like Buck and Bobby (Dickerson) always say, knowing who’s running, anticipating the out,” Machado said. “I anticipated going up the middle a little bit there and that, at the end of the day, it was just staying in the zone and knowing how much time I had.
“It’s just reaction. It’s all reaction. I’ll probably look back and go see it on the MLB app, but just trying to make plays for my team, trying to make outs. At the end of the day it’s about staying in the zone, staying under control and being able to make that good throw to second base and knowing who is running at the same time because I could have gotten up and thrown. It was a heck of a play, for sure.”
Said Showalter: “That’s imagination. Sometimes we try to take that away from players wrongly. You see it a lot with guys, especially kids from Latin America. They have such a great imagination on plays and they do it from playing freely sandlot or whatever. If you start trying to make them all robotic ... they just have such great imagination and I think you make a mistake regardless of where they’re from of taking that way and trying to make them all ...
“The way J.J. (Hardy) plays isn’t going to work for someone else. And the way Manny plays is not going to work for somebody else. You got to sometimes let them have that freedom.”
Dylan Bundy earned his first win in his fifth start, holding the Indians to one run and striking out nine batters in six innings.
“He threw the ball well,” Machado said. “We finally got him a win. He’s a horse. He’s been throwing strikes, pounding the zone and getting outs. We just haven’t been scoring runs for him. It definitely felt good to put up some runs for him to get him that W and hopefully he keeps throwing how he’s throwing and these bats get hot.
“He’s commanding all three of his pitches. Every pitch is going and he’s commanding it. He’s doing whatever he wants with that ball, and when you’re doing that it feels great, just like swinging the bat when it’s going well. So hopefully he continues to do that and he carries this pitching staff. We’re a little bit away. Our pitchers have been doing their job, and it’s just a matter of clicking all together.”
“You don’t think about the what-ifs, but Dylan has been solid,” Showalter said. “It’s fun to watch him pitch in every sense of the word. That’s a tough lineup. That’s one of the best lineups in baseball. What, seven left-hand hitters? There’s very few spots where you can gain an advantage, so you’ve got to pitch. Their switch-hitters are pretty even split guys, just a really put together club. That just magnifies what Dylan did. And Bleier. And of course Darren (O’Day).”
The game could have gotten away from Bundy in the first inning after the Indians loaded the bases with one out. He hit Edwin Encarnacion to force in a run, but retired the next two batters to limit the damage.
“We’ve had some tough times here recently, obviously, and the game starts like that and a pop up or two we don’t catch,” Showalter said. “It’s just human nature to have that vibe get kind of negative if you let it. I thought Manny’s home run, this game is tied and we had a pitcher on top of his game, so let’s go.
“Looking back on it, that first inning, you get a pop up and they say, ‘Gosh.” Dylan doesn’t live in that world.”
“Just trying to limit the damage there,” Bundy said. “Could have been a lot worse and put us in a hole there, but was able to get out of it and continue on throughout the game.”
A sign of his growing maturity?
“Could be,” he said. “Just knowing how to pitch a little bit more. Also using the defense and trying to get ground balls and weak contact.”
Here are more quotes after the Orioles ended their six-game losing streak:
Machado on win: “It’s a huge win. You’ve got to win after losing six (straight) against a good team like Cleveland. Just felt good. Dylan threw the heck out of the ball today and we gave him some runs to help him out with it, so you know, hopefully we can ride from this and continue doing what we have to do.”
Machado on only one run scoring in first: “Huge, bases loaded and he comes out with just one run in that first inning. It was huge. It was a momentum breaker. I’m glad that we came back and put up those runs in a key situation, that big one inning. Those are the little things that going to put us in the next level, so hopefully we continue to do it. “
Showalter on two pop ups dropping in two innings: “I’m not going to sit there and berate (Chance Sisco). It’s not just him. Beck (Tim Beckham) called for the one. He backed off the one down the third base late, you can see how it happens. The other one you can see it kind of drifted on him. Just one of those things that happens. We’ve all done it.
“It’s not exactly easy, running across the field in full gear, catcher’s mask you can throw it away and look like the nimble ... It’s a hard play, but one that he will make more times than not. I think he would have caught the other one. You see it a lot with younger players, they cede to someone who’s kind of been there for a little bit.”
Bleier on whether this is his best stretch: “Yeah, I would say yeah, definitely. Things are going well personally. It’s definitely nice to contribute to a win. We obviously went through a rough patch there. It could have been a lot different had Manny not made that play up the middle. That was really an incredible play. I’m just glad that I had front row seats to that play. Turned around like, ‘Aw, that ball’s up the middle.’ Like, oh wow, that was an incredible play. Yeah, a lot of things are definitely going my way, I would say.”
Bleier on confidence gained from being used in tight spots: “It gives me a lot. I’m not going to lie, I went out for the second inning, I got the first guy out, I looked and I was like, ‘All right, I’m done.’ He wasn’t there and I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is my inning as well as the seventh.’ There’s definitely a lot of confidence knowing that he trusts me not only to pitch to lefties but to righties, as well.”
Bleier on team making three highlight plays lately with him on the mound: “It’s a huge boost for the team and for me. Kind of thinking, OK, evaluating the situation and then all of a sudden the play is made and it just changes the whole inning. He looks good at shortstop, that’s for sure.”
Bundy comparing first five starts with past years: “Just really try and attack hitters from pitch one and trying to get ahead of them as best as I can and really wasn’t able to do that with the high pitch count in the first four or five innings, really the whole game. They did a good job of making me battle out there and that’s a tough lineup.”
Bundy on a team win: “Absolutely, absolutely. Good defense, we pitched great. Bleier, Darren came in, shut the door. We got the runs when we needed them. Team win.”
Bundy on his slider working: “Toward the end it was. The movement of the pitches was decent throughout the game. Command was off. That’s why they made me throw a lot of pitches, take some pitches that were borderline and foul off some pitches.”