Needing the bottom to step up (Machado stays hot)

The Orioles’ lineup is definitely top-heavy again tonight.

The first five batters are posting averages of .329 (Nate McLouth), .311 (Manny Machado), .284 (Nick Markakis), .333 (Adam Jones) and .337 (Chris Davis).

The bottom four are posting averages of .228 (Matt Wieters), .194 (J.J. Hardy), .117 (Ryan Flaherty) and .203 (Nolan Reimold).

Wieters is 5-for-15 in his last four games, with a double, home run and five RBIs. That’s encouraging.

Hardy has registered his first two multi-hit games over the past six games, though he took an 0-for-4 last night. Also encouraging.

Flaherty has doubled in two of his last four starts. He’ll take it.

Earlier today, manager Buck Showalter confirmed to reporters in Anaheim that Freddy Garcia will start Saturday. Not a surprise. All signs pointed in that direction.

Makes more sense now that Garcia extended his opt-out until May 14.

Jake Arrieta allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings tonight with Triple-A Norfolk, with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches, 61 for strikes.

Arrieta was making his second start with the Tides. He tossed six scoreless innings in his previous outing.

Trayvon Robinson homered twice and drove in three runs.

Update: Machado extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first inning, and Wieters singled in the second.

The Angels almost scored in the bottom of the first, but Markakis threw out Mike Trout at the plate after Josh Hamilton’s single to right field. Trout didn’t slide, acting as though he wasn’t expecting a play at the plate.

Chris Tillman walked two batters in the inning, which usually spells trouble, but Markakis bailed him out. He threw 24 pitches, 14 for strikes.

Update II: Machado is 2-for-2 with an RBI single that gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the third inning. He’s batting .322.

Reimold, McLouth and Machado singled with one out.

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