Sweet 16 for Schoop plus Machado update

The date was April 29. That was the last time Jonathan Schoop, an infielder for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds, did not have a game with a hit.

He went 0-for-5 that night versus Savannah.

Since then, the 19-year-old from Curacao is working on a 16-game hitting streak. Schoop is batting .348 during the streak (23-for-66) with three doubles, a triple, two homers and eight RBIs.

He has extended the streak 11 times with just a single hit, including last night at home, when he was 1-for-5 against Lakewood. He has had three games with two hits and two with three hits during his streak.

This may be the longest hitting streak in Shorebirds’ history. I say “may” because some early records are incomplete, but none longer has been found yet.

Schoop is having a breakout kind of season so far. After batting .290 in 62 games last year, most with Rookie-Level Bluefield, the right-handed batter is now hitting .327 with eight doubles, three triples, five homers, 22 RBIs and an OPS of .897 in 37 Shorebirds games.

He has been consistent, too, batting .311 with an OPS of .885 in April and .348/.912 in May.

He started the year at third base and moved back to his original position of shortstop when Manny Machado went to the disabled list.

Schoop has made 14 errors already, but has shown a strong arm.

As for Machado, who has not played since May 5 with a left knee injury, it now looks like the club is targeting late this month for his return to the diamond. That is longer than the original four-to-seven days the Orioles hoped for, but I am told there is no serious injury here or nothing new from the original diagnosis. The knee has just taken a little longer to heal than expected.

The Single-A Frederick Keys won again last night, beating Potomac 2-0 as Rick Zagone pitched six shutout innings. Frederick is 12-2 in its last 14 games and, at 12-4, has the best record in May in the Carolina League.

Frederick is in first place in the Northern Division at 22-15 and has won eight in a row at home. The Keys host Potomac again tonight at Harry Grove Stadium.

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