Since when did Orioles-Athletics become such a heated rivalry?
Machado jumped to his feet and got in third baseman Josh Donaldson’s face Friday night after a tag that he deemed too aggressive. No punches were thrown and order was quickly restored.
In the eighth inning today, Oakland left-hander Fernando Abad came inside twice on Machado on consecutive pitches, almost hitting him in the left leg with the first offering. Machado stepped out of the box and glared at Abad, then swung late at the next pitch. The bat came out of his hands and spun toward third baseman Alberto Callaspo.
Again, the benches and bullpens emptied. Again, no punches were thrown, but this scrum had the potential to morph into a brawl. First base coach Wayne Kirby charged after A’s manager Bob Melvin. Oakland’s John Jaso wanted a piece of Machado.
Manager Buck Showalter quickly got in the middle and pushed away his players.
Machado and Abad were ejected. Caleb Joseph pinch-hit with a 1-1 count.
Earlier today, Machado hit A’s catcher Derek Norris on the helmet with his backswing. Norris came out of the game.
It’s safe to say that the A’s have major issues with Machado, who has twice lost his composure this weekend, and it’s fortunate that the series is ending today.
Showalter defended Machado Friday night, pointing out that the young third baseman probably was upset with Donaldson’s tag due to his knee injury in October. Machado fell backward while trying to avoid it.
How will Showalter react this afternoon?
The Orioles trail 10-1 in the top of the ninth, their only run scoring in the eighth on Ryan Cook’s bases-loaded walk to Chris Davis, who has replaced Machado at third base.
This is Davis’ first game at third base since Sept. 28, 2011 versus the Red Sox.
The loss of control today extends beyond all of the walks.
The Orioles have issued 11, their most since June 20, 2008 against the Brewers.
Update: The Orioles lost 11-1 on Little League Day.
Hopefully, the kids had their eyes shielded.
Melvin asked for a review of a call at first base with one out in the ninth. It was overturned.
Melvin’s way of getting in a shot without throwing a punch.