Manny Machado on his AL Player of the Week award

After a week that included not one but two grand slams, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado today was named the latest American League Player of the Week.

“It is always an honor,” Machado said this afternoon. “At this point of the season, all we are trying to do is play for the team. Trying to get some Ws, which is the most important part. This is all that matters from now on. It’s a great accomplishment and I’m honored, but I’ve got to keep swinging the bat and keep playing well.”

During the period ending Sunday, Machado hit .385 (10-for-26) with four homers, four runs and 12 RBIs over six games. It is his third career AL weekly honor and first since June 15, 2015. He is the third Oriole to win this year joining Jonathan Schoop (July 23) and Tim Beckham (Aug. 7). The Orioles are the only club in the league with three weekly awards.

Manny-Machado-hand-up-white-sidebar.jpgMachado got off to an extended slow start to his season and was batting just .212 in mid-June. But since the All-Star break, he is batting .345/.373/.595 with 11 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 34 RBIs. Although, he said his improved offense is not the result of any specific adjustments or changes he made.

“No, no. You just stay with a routine and keep working,” Machado said. “Not taking at-bats for granted. Just sticking with my approach and my routine with (hitting coach, Scott) Coolbaugh. He has had a big influence on me doing well. Staying on me every day. Getting in the cage, talking with me between innings. I think that is why offensively we’ve been so different. He’s been on top of us and it makes the game easier - it is already hard enough - when our coaches are so good.”

Machado’s week included his three-homer game on Friday night where his grand slam in the ninth was a walk-off winner over the Angels. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Machado became the 13th player in major league history to log three home runs with the final one being a walk-off and the first since Joey Votto accomplished the feat for the Reds on May 13, 2012 against the Nationals.

Over a 12-game stretch from Aug. 6-18, Machado hit .370 (20-for-54) with 12 runs scored, four doubles, a triple, seven home runs (three grand slams) and 25 RBIs. Per Elias, Manny became the first major league hitter with 25 RBIs over a span of 12 games since Edwin Encarnacion did so for the Blue Jays in 2015. In addition, he became just the 10th player in major league history and the first in Orioles franchise history to record three grand slams in a calendar month.

Despite Machado’s offensive resurgence, the O’s as a team have lost eight of their last 12 games. They won the opening game of the last four series, but didn’t win any of those series. Building on wins and creating momentum has been a problem. Machado was asked why the Orioles could not build on a great win like Friday’s game with his walk-off slam.

“You know what, I don’t know,” he said. “That is just baseball. It’s a 162-game grind. I have no idea how to answer that. It is just how things turn out.”

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