Machado’s suspension upheld

The Orioles finally received word on the result of Manny Machado’s appeal hearing and it’s not what they had anticipated.

Major League Baseball has upheld Machado’s five-game suspension, which he will begin serving tonight.

The Orioles open a four-game series tonight against the Rangers at Camden Yards. Machado also will miss the Fourth of July game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He can return to the 25-man roster on Saturday.

Machado’s hearing took place last Wednesday at the warehouse, and the Orioles expected the suspension to be reduced by at least one game.

Boston’s Trot Nixon was suspended four games after throwing his bat during a 2002 game.

Machado’s punishment stems from an incident on June 8 at Camden Yards when he swung late at a second inside pitch from Athletics’ reliever Fernando Abad and released the bat. It spiraled toward third base, and the benches and bullpens emptied for the second time in the series.

Machado was fined an undisclosed amount. Abad also was fined, but he did not receive a suspension.

During Saturday’s question-and-answer session with season ticket holders, executive vice president Dan Duquette referred to the “gross inequity” in the punishments doled out to Machado and Abad.

Machado later apologized to the Orioles, their fans and the Athletics. He remained in the lineup and homered yesterday for the third time in three days.

Ryan Flaherty is expected to replace Machado at third base. The Orioles must play a man short during the suspension, but they could send down a pitcher and recall an infielder such as Jemile Weeks, who was transferred from Triple-A Norfolk to short-season Single-A Aberdeen and played his second game for the IronBirds last night.

The complication arises from the need for a Tuesday starter. Left-hander T.J. McFarland is a prime candidate, which would leave the Orioles short in the bullpen. They’ve received only one quality start from their rotation in their last seven games and may need a fresh arm.

Machado, an All-Star and Platinum Glove winner in 2013, is batting .239/.291/.371 with seven doubles, seven homers and 17 RBIs in 54 games. He missed the first month of the season while recovering from October knee surgery.

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