Machado returns to lineup in series finale

Machado returns to lineup in series finale

BALTIMORE -- Third baseman Manny Machado was back in the starting lineup on Sunday, but the Orioles waited until after he took batting practice and ran before putting him in there.

Machado didn't play Friday or Saturday after coming out of Thursday's game with stiffness in his right groin, and manager Buck Showalter said before batting practice on Sunday that he had two lineups ready -- one with Machado and one without.

But Machado played and batted in his usual No. 2 spot. He homered to lead off the fifth and finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, an RBI and a run scored.

That's a break for the injury-riddled Orioles, as first baseman Chris Davis missed Sunday's game, and likely Monday, on paternity leave, and catcher Matt Wieters already is on the disabled list.

Showalter said he tested Machado a bit on Saturday. The skipper made a bunch of moves late in the 9-0 loss to the Indians, one of which involved losing the DH, so he told Machado he could be pinch-hitting to see how he reacted.

"Batting gloves went on, got that look on his face, pine-tarred the bat up," Showalter said. "I wanted to get that juice flowing."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.