SALISBURY, Md. - Orioles top prospect Manny Machado singled tonight in his first at-bat in the South Atlantic League All-Star game. Machado fell behind 0-2 on the count, got back to a full count and drove a ground ball up the middle for a single against Savannah's Taylor Whitenton.
Machado was batting second and his single sent Hagerstown's Blake Kelso, who had singled, to third base.
After a wild pitch sent Machado to second, Bryce Harper hit an RBI groundout to second to give the North a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Machado would score on a Jim Murphy sac fly as the North took a 2-0 lead after one inning.
When the Sally League season started in early April, it wasn't long before Machado started living up to the hype surrounding him and putting up big numbers here for the Shorebirds.
Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Kipp Schutz got off to hot starts at the bat and the Shorebirds were putting up some runs.
But Machado seemed to be getting most of the attention.
Ty Kelly, Machado's teammate during the season and also here tonight, said it was OK to get overshadowed by Machado.
"I don't mind that. Manny is a high draft pick and an unbelievable player. Being 18, 19 and doing as well as he has done is pretty amazing. He deserves all the attention he gets," Kelly said.
The 22-year-old Kelly, a 13th-round pick out of Cal-Davis in 2009, is batting .312 in 52 games with three homers and 27 RBIs. He said Machado has not showed his teammates any ego and has fit in very well with the Shorebirds.
"He's been a great teammate. You never know with guys that get that much hype, how they are going to be," Kelly said. "If they will be a nice guy or a little more arrogant. But he's been awesome.
"I'm wearing, he's let me borrow these pants right now and he lent me some batting gloves. These are the big league model right here and he had some extra ones. He's a great teammate and great guy."