4. Machado’s 3-Home Run Night, Plus Walk-Off vs. Los Angeles Angels
The talk before the All-Star break surrounding the Orioles revolved around Manny Machado and what was wrong with him in 2017. His offensive numbers just were not what was expected of the superstar.
Well, Machado’s August helped prove that his bat was just fine, and in no game was that more apparent than on August 18. The Orioles had just come back from a mediocre West Coast trip and really needed to show some signs of life if they wanted to try to make a playoff push.
It was another ugly start provided by Jeremy Hellickson.
Hellickson allowed a two-run home run to Albert Pujols, the third batter of the game. Kole Calhoun then went back-to-back, and the Birds were down 3-0. After the Orioles went down 1, 2, 3 in their part of the first, the Angels stepped back to the plate.
The first pitch of the second inning was turned around by C.J. Kron, another solo home run off Hellickson. The power display wasn’t over, however. Number nine hitter Kaleb Cowart added another solo shot to make it 5-0 on four home runs.
After that, it was the Birds turn to show the power. Mark Trumbo hit a solo shot in the second inning off Andrew Heaney to get a run back.
In the third, Caleb Joseph led off the inning with his own solo shot, only to be followed by a two-run home run by Manny Machado to make it a 5-4 game.
The fourth was scoreless, and it looked like Hellickson might keep the team in the game.
In the bottom of the inning, Machado hit his second of the game, a solo shot to get a run back. The Orioles’ bullpen held the Angels scoreless into the ninth inning, with the Orioles needing two runs to tie the game.
With the Baltimore Orioles’ 7, 8, 9 hitters coming up, it didn’t seem likely. However, Anthony Santander singled to right field. After a Caleb Joseph strikeout, Seth Smith walked. Yusmeiro Petit was pulled for Kenyan Middleton.
It didn’t help. Tim Beckham and his scorching month continued with a single and up walked Manny Machado.
It’s not every player who can turn around a 98 mile an hour fastball. When it is right down the middle, it isn’t hard. Machado ended up with seven RBIs on the three home runs and the Orioles ended up in the win column.