SALISBURY, Md. - The only thing that went wrong with last night's South Atlantic League All-Star game was the home team lost.
The South beat the North 6-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,410 at Perdue Stadium. The North squad had won four straight from 2006-2009 and last year's game ended in a tie, so this was the first win by the South since 2005.
But despite the fact that the team with five Delmarva Shorebirds on it came up short, everything else was pretty much a huge hit last night in Salisbury.
The Shorebirds and their staff, hosting the game for the first time since 1999, put on quite a show. From the All-Star Game luncheon to Fan Fest featuring Earl Weaver, to the home run derby to the pre-game ceremony, the game and the post-game fireworks, the Shorebirds' front office and staff hit a home run.
Several thousand fans were in the stands long before first pitch to watch Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and the rest of the players take BP. The atmosphere through the day and into the night was great.
As for the Delmarva players:
* Machado went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored. He handled several chances in the field flawlessly and played all nine innings.
* Ty Kelly went 0-for-3 playing all nine innings at second base.
* Catcher Michael Ohlman caught the last two innings and was 0-for-1.
* Lefty Jacob Pettit pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
* Righty David Walters gave up a hit, but no runs, in the ninth.
After the game, the promotion of Machado to Frederick became official and now the O's top prospect will take the next step on his way toward Baltimore.
He will now become a rarity. A player in the Carolina League at just 19 years old. Machado struggled at bat this month after coming off the disabled list in early June. But his first 25 games before he got hurt in early May were pretty amazing. His bat was on fire.
My guess is that he quickly warms up to the challenge of the Carolina League and hits well there, too. So far, Machado has been everything the Orioles hoped for and more.
Jonathan Schoop, Machado and Kipp Schutz helped ignite a Delmarva offense that was electric when all three were together early this year in Salisbury. Now they reunite in Frederick.
The Keys, who already won a first-half division championship, just got better.