FREDERICK, Md. - Manny Machado is playing third base and batting second today for the Single-A Frederick Keys on the second day of his rehab assignment.
Machado was modest when talking about how good his swing was last night when he went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple. He has to be pleased with that swing, right?
“I guess. Not completely there. But (I) feel good at the plate, feel good overall, that is the most important thing,” he said.
Even though Machado is one of the youngest players in the Keys’ clubhouse, he’s been somewhere they want to go, the big leagues. So Keys players have been picking his brain these last two days.
“They have come up to me and asked me questions,” Machado said earlier today. “Which is great. I would have done the same thing when I was in their shoes. Ask me about my hitting approach, my grounders, whatever it may be. They pick your brain and that’s a great thing.
“It’s good. These guys keep it loose in there. They have a great group here. Blasting the music, playing some cards. Fun to watch.”
Here is today’s Keys lineup:
CF - Glynn Davis
3B - Manny Machado
1B - Creede Simpson
LF - Michael Burgess
C - Wynston Sawyer
DH - Zane Chavez
SS - Adrian Marin
RF - Lucas Herbst
2B - Jerome Pena
LHP - Matt Taylor
Machado in the first: Machado lined out to center field with one out and no one on in the last of the first. It was another well-struck ball by him, a line shot that was caught. He worked the count full off Carolina lefty Shawn Morimando and then was retired. He’s now 3-for-5 with the Keys.
Machado’s first chance on defense came when Jeremy Lucas led off the top of the second. He grounded out to third. The last hop was head high for Machado, but he gloved it easily and made an accurate throw. He also caught a pop up along the third base line for the last out of the top of the second.
Machado singles: Manny is back in the hit column. He hit another ball hard, lining a 1-1 pitch for a solid single to center in the fourth. Morimando had retired the first 10 Keys before that single. He was then erased on a force play at second as he slid in to break up a double play. Machado is now 4-for-6 in two games with the Keys.
Lefty Matt Taylor pitched out of a two on, none out jam in the top of the fourth and has a three-hitter through four in a 0-0 game.
An error on Machado: Machado was charged with an error in the top of the fifth. Anthony Gallas hit a grounder to his left. He made a nice stop of a tricky hard-hit hop, but Machado’s throw pulled first baseman Creede Simpson slightly off the bag and E5 was the scoring. Frederick made two errors in the inning as Carolina scored twice to lead 2-0.
It didn’t Machado long to remind us we won’t be seeing many errors as he made a diving stop on a liner to his left in the top of the sixth and made the final out of the inning on a grounder as well, recording his third assist of the game.
Machado grounds out : Machado grounded out to first base on the first pitch he saw in the last of the sixth, and is 1-for-3 today. The Keys scored once in the inning to trail 2-1 through six. Mychal Givens has come on to pitch in the seventh for the Keys.
Machado retired in the eighth: Machado grounded out again, this time on a ball up the middle as second baseman Todd Hankins ranged to his right to throw him out to end the last of the eighth. He has hit routine grounders the last two times up and is 1-for-4 today as the game goes to the ninth with Carolina leading 4-2.
Carolina wins: It’s a final from Frederick. Carolina beats the Keys 4-2. Frederick was held to four hits, and falls to 9-13. Machado went 1-for-4, and is 4-for-8 over two games with the Keys. I’ll have some postgame quotes in a new entry coming shortly.