Machado's bat heats up at Bowie

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we were talking about Manny Machado being in a slump. Actually, it was. Remember this story. Yeah, that didn't last long.

Machado was not picked for the Eastern League All-Star Game and maybe league officials are regretting that now. He will play on the big stage of the Futures Game Sunday for the second year in a row.

Machado's bat is now sizzling at Double-A Bowie. Since being selected to participate in the Futures Game, Machado is batting .383 (18-47) with three homers and 20 RBIs in his last 13 games. He leads the Eastern League in RBIs during that time.

Machado has five multi-hit games in his past seven contests, going 10-for-27 with 13 RBIs. He batted .286 with four homers and 23 RBIs in June.

Machado's batting average has increased each month this year, going from .241 in April to .257 in May to .286 last month.

He remains the youngest player in the Eastern League, but his teenage years are coming to a close. He turns 20 on Friday.

Meanwhile, his Baysox teammate, Robbie Widlansky, put in a strong bid to be the Eastern League's player of the month for June. In 24 games, he batted .407 with two homers and 21 RBIs. Widlansky had the highest batting average, on-base percentage (.523), OPS (1.116) and fifth-most RBIs in the league during June.

With a win last night, the Baysox are now 19-6 in their last 25 games and are in a tie for second place. They are averaging a whopping 6.4 runs per game in that time with two games in which they equaled a season high with 11 runs. They have moved to two games over .500 at 42-40.

Like the Baysox, Triple-A Norfolk has been winning lately. The Tides beat Syracuse 5-4 last night on a Nate McLouth walkoff homer in the ninth to get to the .500 mark at 43-43. The Tides have won 13 of the last 17 to get there for the first time since they were 2-2.

L.J. Hoes had one hit last night to keep his hitting streak alive. It is now at 13 games and the 22-year-old Hoes is 21-for-47 (.447) in that stretch with 12 runs and five RBIs to raise his season average to .294.

Hoes' 13-game streak is the longest on the team since Ryan Adams hit in 15 straight late last season.

Brad Bergesen was the winning pitching in relief Monday. He has an ERA of 2.01 in nine games out of the bullpen. Xavier Avery, in his first game back since being optioned, went 2-for-3 with a triple and scored twice.

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