Machado and Davis talk about their recent struggles at bat

A few moments before he was hit by a ball during batting practice today, Manny Machado talked about hitting the ball.

Or, that is, his recent struggles to do just that. Machado is 3-for-28 over his last seven games and 9-for-58 over his last 14 games.

"I'm not hitting the ball. Plain and simple," Machado said. "Not doing what I am supposed to do. That is what it is. I need to get back to my routines. Everybody goes through it."

He still leads the majors with 39 doubles and has seven more than anyone else, even though he has gone 18 games and 82 plate appearances without one.

Machado did not agree with an opinion that he has been chasing some pitches out of the strike zone recently.

"I've actually felt the opposite and that I've done better lately laying off pitches," Machado said. "Yeah, way better lately than I have in the past in swinging at junk in the dirt.

"Got to keep grinding. I'm missing pitches I should be hitting. It's part of the game, a rough patch. Keep grinding, like Buck (Showalter) says."

Meanwhile, Chris Davis is serving as the designated hitter tonight. He has gone without an RBI for six games and without a homer for 10, his longest stretch of the year.

Davis has just two hits over his last 18 at-bats and has fanned 11 times over his past 15 at-bats.

He seemed to welcome the chance to, sort of, get a half-day off by DHing tonight.

"I think it's the first time I've been able to catch my breath since the All-Star Game," Davis said. "You know it's tough starting on the road in the second half. Getting a mental day off is big for everybody."

Davis, who has already set career highs with 37 homers and 97 RBIs, was asked if pitchers have been getting him out more lately by pitching him inside.

"There have been a lot of guys coming in off the plate," he said. "I've just been swinging at everything. When you are not comfortable at the plate, the tendency is to be too aggressive.

"I've always been a guy that strikes out a lot. I've done that for years and it's obviously not going to change. But as long as I get my hits and drive in runs, that's really the key point. But I haven't been doing that either. But guys have been picking me up and I'll get it figured out here pretty soon."

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