Orioles shortstop Manny Machado had himself an afternoon on Sunday against the Athletics. He hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning off of Kendall Graveman, cutting into an early 3-0 deficit. The O’s would scratch out five more runs over the next three innings to take a commanding 7-3 lead.
Machado put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Machado sent a 3-2 92 MPH fastball from J.B. Wendelken over the fence in left-center at Camden Yards for a grand slam, boosting the Orioles’ lead to 11-3.
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Machado is having an outstanding season thus far. He’s batting .350/.403/.691 with nine home runs and 22 RBI while playing exquisite defense at third base and, now, shortstop. He volunteered to move to shortstop following J.J. Hardy‘s foot injury.
HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.
Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.
With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.
Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.
The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.
The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.