On his first day in the major leagues, Manny Machado got to hear the roar of the crowd several times tonight at Camden Yards, and he got a standing ovation when he came to bat his first time up. The cheers for the Orioles’ top position player prospect began several minutes before first pitch.
“When I went out there, the fans started clapping once I started walking out,” Machado said. “It was a great feeling. J.J.(Hardy) started laughing and said, ‘Sink it in.’ It was great. The fans love me here, and I really appreciate what they did and am looking forward to more games.”
He showed off the ball for the cameras that he drove into right-center for a triple in the fifth inning. It was his first big league hit in his second at-bat as part of a 2-for-4 night that included an infield single in the seventh.
“It went well,” Machado said. “I got the jitters out and had a good game today. It was a load off my shoulders to get that triple for my first hit. I’m happy to get a hit and glad I got it out of the way. The other guys congratulated me and gave me high fives.”
Does a two-hit night in his debut show him that he can succeed in the big leagues?
“I wouldn’t say succeed yet,” Machado said. “I still have a long year and a lot more at-bats, but for the first night, I think it went great. I felt good out there, and the crowd was supporting us all the way. Of course, it’s going to be my first and only debut in my career so I tried to sink it in.”
Machado handled a few routine plays on defense at third base as well.
“I felt good out there. It’s totally different (reading the ball off the bat at third) and that’s an adjustment I’m going to have to make,” he said.
Machado is the 31st player to make his Orioles debut before his 21st birthday and the 20th youngest in club history.
Meanwhile, Wei-Yin Chen gave up a season-high seven runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 to take the loss. He allowed two homers and four runs in the first inning.
“I didn’t have really good command today,” Chen said through his interpreter. “I felt like my fastball was very straight with no life. They are a good hitting lineup. Today was just not my day. I didn’t do my job, and tomorrow is another day and we just move forward.”
Chen said the ball that hit him in the top of the first off the bat of Salvador Perez hit him on the side of the calf, and he said it would not be an issue for him for his next start.
As for Machado, it was a good first night for him, but the Orioles saw a five-game win streak end against the Royals.
“It would have been much better to come out with a win. They did a good job and had a good game,” Machado said.