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Machado has a .352 on-base percentage and ranks third on the team with 23 runs. And when the team needs a long ball, he often delivers — his two-run drive Sunday put the Orioles ahead to stay in an 8-4 win over the Angels that sealed an uplifting 7-4 swing through Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles.
"The situation dictates what you need to do," Machado said.
"What we’re going to see from him is still to be seen," Hardy said. "I think really the sky’s the limit. He could be a 3-hole guy later in his career. He’s going to get a lot of at-bats hitting in the 2-hole this year, and I think it will be good for him and good for the team."
Machado has started all 32 games this year and has been a key contributor to Baltimore’s 19-13 start. He has at least one hit in 13 of his last 14 games and has been held hitless only seven times — never in consecutive games.
"You try to simplify this game. You can’t be thinking too much, beating yourself up if you go 0 for 4," he said. "There are 162 games. Some days you’re going to have it, some days not. That’s how I see it. If you give 100 percent and try to help your team win, everything is going to fall into place."
His maturity belies his age, but Machado’s teammates won’t let him forget that he won’t be 21 until July 6.
"When we drink on the team plane, he can’t have alcohol," Jones said. "We make sure of that."
Even after he reaches the legal drinking age, Machado will still be the youngest player in the clubhouse.
"They call me ‘The Baby,’" he said. "I’m still a kid to them."
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