Machado settling in, finds timing at the plate

Machado settling in, finds timing at the plate

ANAHEIM -- For Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, his recent offensive performance has been all about calming down, simplifying things at the plate and trusting in his abilities.

"There's such a thing as over-coach or manage early on," manager Buck Showalter said. "I just tried to leave him alone and just let him seek his level. I said a few things here and there. But it's like those hitting coaches who say, I want to be the hitting coach for [Don] Mattingly. Or I want to be the hitting coach for [Nick] Markakis. Really? You can come out real smart there.

"Manny's clock is in a good place. Not just defensively either. I think the game has slowed down for him a bit."

Machado agrees. The 20-year-old infielder, promoted from Double-A in August because of the organization's faith in his defense, has turned heads recently with his bat. Entering Friday, Machado has hit safely in 18 of 22 games while batting .355 (33-for-93) with 11 multi-hit games, 11 doubles, three triples, three homers and 17 RBIs. Over that span, he has raised his season average from .200 to .317 and also owns a team-high 11-game hitting streak.

Machado, who will be 21 in July, is the only Orioles player under 21 to have a hitting streak as long as 11 games, and he tallied his 34th extra-base hit on Wednesday in his 79th career game. What does that all mean?

Since 1916, seven players have collected at least 34 extra-base hits at that young of an age: Vada Pinson (40), Willie Mays (37), Orlando Cepeda (37), Miguel Cabrera (36), Tony Conigliaro (35), Hank Aaron (34) and Machado.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.