BALTIMORE -- An impending suspension isn't the only issue for Manny Machado as the Orioles third baseman is also mired in a slump that has seen his batting average drop to .222, the lowest it's been this month.
With Machado struggling and Steve Pearce playing well, Orioles manager Buck Showalter opted to drop Machado to seventh in the order for Wednesday's series finale against the Red Sox and move Pearce up to the No. 2 hole.
"Steve Pearce is swinging the bat well," Showalter said.
Machado, who is appealing the five-game suspension for throwing his bat into the field of play during Baltimore's loss to the A's on Sunday, entered Wednesday's game hitless in his last 15 at-bats with six strikeouts. He ended the O's 1-0 loss Tuesday by striking out against Koji Uehara with a runner on first.
Baltimore got a rare runner on base in that inning by way of a pinch-hit single by Pearce. It was one of just two O's hits in Tuesday's loss and brought Pearce's average up to .314. His on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .875 ranked second on the team when qualifying numbers are thrown out.
"Steve has been pretty consistent, pretty solid all year," Showalter said.
Showalter didn't mention Machado's play when discussing the decision to drop the slumping All-Star in the order, but he did give some brief comments on Machado's appeal.
The skipper mentioned that he had looked at past similar cases with Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
"There are some precedents to go on," Showalter said.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.