Shortstop logs 4 hits, draws walk to open 7-run 1st vs. A's
By Michael Wagaman
Special to MLB.com |
OAKLAND -- Orioles leadoff man Tim Beckham didn't mind the 20-minute wait he had to endure in the first inning before extending his hitting streak to 12 games during a 12-5 blowout of the Athletics on Saturday night.
Having walked and scored on Manny Machado's double to start the game, Beckham enjoyed kicking back in the dugout and watching as the O's batted around in the opening frame. Then, the shortstop put an emphatic stamp on the seven-run inning with a two-run double that provided more than enough cushion.
Beckham also doubled and scored in the fourth, singled in the sixth and tacked on a ground-rule double to drive in Joey Rickard in the ninth, continuing an impressive start with his new team.
"It was definitely fun just to get the momentum, get the game started, and put them on their heels early," Beckham said. "I could have hit three times in the first inning, it didn't matter to me. We're putting up runs, and if I'm hitting two times in the first inning that means we're doing good."
Since being acquired from the Rays at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Beckham has provided quite a spark to manager Buck Showalter's lineup. Beckham, the regining American League Player of the Week, has had a hit in every game since the trade, and he has put up a stat line to remember: .531 average (26-for-49), seven doubles, two triples, three home runs, nine RBIs and 14 runs scored.
Additionally, Beckham has had nine multi-hits games with the Orioles, including logging three or more hits three times. Beckham had 22 multi-hit games with the Rays this season before the trade.
Not that Showalter is making a big deal out of it. Having spent much of the last week praising Beckham, the skipper backed off a little following the O's latest win.
"We're not going to talk about him," Showalter said. "Timmy likes playing outside it looks like."
In a lineup featuring sluggers like Machado, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop, Beckham has found a way to stand out. His average has jumped from .259 to .295 since joining the Orioles.
Beckham's six-pitch leadoff walk off A's starter Sean Manaea set the tone. Jones, Trey Mancini and Chris Davis all drove in runs during the opening frame before Beckham's two-run double capped it.
"It doesn't surprise me," winning pitcher Dylan Bundy said. "I think he got me two or three times when he was with the Rays. I'm glad to have him on our side, I know that."
The Orioles finished with a season-high 20 hits, including eight doubles that are one shy of the franchise record.
"It's fun," Beckham said. "You're playing good and your team's playing winning baseball. It's always fun. The end goal is to win ballgames and be in the playoffs. That's what we're shooting for."
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.