Manny Machado on long homer, Alec Asher on outing and ovation

On the night he blasted a 465-foot home run into the second deck at Camden Yards, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado said right-hander Alec Asher was the biggest key to a 3-2 win over Boston.

manny-machado-batting-white.jpg“We won the game because of how Alec went out there and did his job. He pitched a helluva game and kept us in the game,” Machado said.

Asher did indeed pitch a strong game, allowing two runs and three hits over 6 1/3 innings to get his second O’s win.

The offense gave him an early 2-0 lead on first inning homers from Seth Smith and Machado. Machado’s blast off reigning AL Cy Young Winner Rick Porcello was the first ball to make the second deck at Oriole Park since Mark Reynolds blasted one on Aug. 7, 2011 against Toronto. Getting into one that solidly must have felt good after some of his early-season struggles.

“Yeah, it is (a good feeling). That’s way out there,” Machado said. “But think it kind of messed me up for the rest of the game. Trying to do too much. That was a perfect swing that I did.

“Just (felt good) to get some hits. You know, making good contact with the ball. Not trying to look for home runs. Just trying to get some hits and quality at-bats. Hopefully, I continue doing what I’ve been doing.”

Machado also had kudos for outfielder Hyun Soo Kim. He hasn’t played much, but his RBI double in the fourth provided a 3-1 lead and was the deciding run tonight.

“Kim’s a helluva player,” Machado said. “They put him in tough spots and he comes through when you least expect it. And he plays a helluva defense out there, too. He made some nice plays for us. To do what he’s been doing, not play for a couple of days and then get a key hit. He drove in the run that won the game for us.”

With his average down to .205 to start this four-game series, Machado had two hits last night to snap an 0-for-18 stretch. Then the long home run tonight. According to Statcast, Machado is the only player with three homers of at least 460 feet this year. Now he just wants to see hits come more consistently and is confident they will.

“Everyone is going to struggle some,” he said. “You can’t go out there and absolutely drop bombs for six months. It’s impossible. I mean it is part of the game. I struggled early on. The only thing I can do is stay positive and try to win games. At the end of the day that is all that matters. My stats are going to go up there eventually. I’m going to hit. Just have to stay positive and play the game the right way. Keep a smile on my face and try to win ballgames.”

Asher gave the Orioles a third quality start in four outings. He pounded fastballs down in the zone during a 95-pitch start that included no walks and five strikeouts. Boston went just 3-for-22 against him. What was the gameplan?

“Just get ahead of hitters and pound the strike zone,” Asher said. “Just pitch the game that we settled through to do and just let things happen. You know, just to give the team a chance to win is my main goal, and when I’m out there, I’m going to try to get guys out for as long as Buck lets me.”

Asher shows plenty of composure on the mound and his skipper is a fan of that. He says less thinking, more pitching is the key.

“Just don’t think about it too much. Just go out there and execute your plan and you know, just pitch. Everyone’s been playing this game for a long time, and you kind of get in your own way by thinking about it too much,” Asher said.

Asher also walked off the mound tonight to a standing ovation from most of the crowd of 33,193 in his 13th game as an Oriole.

“Awesome. That was probably one of the coolest things I’ve experienced. To hear the crowd cheer for you is great,” he said.

blog comments powered by Disqus