Orioles’ Manny Machado homers his way to history in first four games

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Based on his modest numbers in the minors it seemed like a questionable decision for the Orioles to promote Manny Machado from Double-A to the majors just a month after his 20th birthday, but there’s nothing questionable about his first taste of the big leagues.

Machado went 2-for-4 with a triple in his MLB debut, homered twice in his second game, went 1-for-4 with a double in his third game, and homered again in his fourth game yesterday. Finally tally through four career games: 6-for-16 (.375) with three homers, five total extra-base hits, seven RBIs, five runs, and a 1.500 OPS.

Not bad for a guy who hit .266 with 11 homers and a .789 OPS in 109 games at Double-A.

Via the Baseball-Reference.com search tools: Machado is just the 12th player in MLB history with three or more homers in his first four career games, but amazingly four of those 12 have come this season with Will Middlebrooks, Yoenis Cespedes, and Yasmani Grandal joining Machado.

The all-time record for homers in a player’s first four games is four and it’s held by … Mike Jacobs. Of course.

UPDATE: In his first week as a big leaguer Machado was named the American League’s co-player of the week with Adrian Gonzalez.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.