Machado slotted in sixth spot to open ALDS

Machado slotted in sixth spot to open ALDS

BALTIMORE -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado made only three of his 51 regular-season starts batting sixth in the lineup, but that's where he was for Sunday night's Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees.

Manager Buck Showalter's batting order against left-hander CC Sabathia had Machado rounding out the middle third, sandwiched between first baseman Mark Reynolds and right fielder Chris Davis. Leadoff man Nate McLouth was the only lefty in the lineup besides Davis.

"You face a lot of starting pitchers, and sometimes you're facing a four and five guy," Showalter said. "You're making sure your batting order is such that you can attack their bullpen and make it tough on these pitchers to get multiple outs.

"But with a guy like Sabathia, your whole mindset is try to figure out a way to get him out of the game before nine innings are up, because that's the biggest part of the equation."

Machado has made 13 starts in the No. 7 spot this season, 20 in the No. 8 spot and 15 in the No. 9 spot, which is where he was for Friday's AL Wild Card game. He experienced the most success batting eighth, where he put up a .315/.346/.507 line with three home runs and 11 RBIs. Machado went 3-for-15 (.200) with a triple in the No. 6 hole, with his most recent start there coming on Sept. 24.