Machado a hero in the field and at the plate

Manny Machado keeps making it easy to forget he’s a 20-year-old shortstop.

Machado made a veteran play to end the top of the ninth inning, fielding Evan Longoria’s chopper, faking the throw to first, spinning and firing to J.J. Hardy covering third. Rich Thompson rounded the bag and got caught in a rundown, with catcher Matt Wieters applying the tag.

Machado had no play at first. Thompson had no clue that Machado, still learning all the nuances of third base, would go the other way.

Credit Hardy for racing to the bag instead of being a spectator. Also a veteran move.

Naturally, Machado led off the bottom of the ninth and reached on a single to left field. He took second on Robert Andino’s sacrifice bunt and raced home on Nate McLouth’s single off the right field fence, giving the Orioles a 3-2 win over the Rays.

Jim Johnson gets the win. Kyle Farnsworth takes the loss. And Machado deserves a save.

He needs a towel after receiving another shaving cream pie.

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