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Manny Machado hit three home runs in the Orioles’ first three innings

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Update #2 (4:57 PM EDT): Machado got a sixth at-bat in the top of the ninth against reliever Michael Ynoa, but he grounded out to third base to end the inning. He finished 3-for-6 with three homers and seven RBI on the afternoon.

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Update (4:25 PM EDT): Machado lined out to center field in the top of the seventh against Carson Fulmer. Still a pretty good shot Machado gets one more at-bat in this game.

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado hit three home runs in the first three innings of Sunday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. He hit into a well-executed 6-4-3 double play in the fifth inning, but will have at least one more at-bat to try to hit a fourth home run.

If Machado is able to do so, he would become the 17th player to hit four home runs in one game and the first to do so since the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton on May 8, 2012 against… the Orioles.

Machado launched a two-run home run in the top of the first inning against White Sox starter James Shields, putting the Orioles up 2-0. He followed up with a three-run shot in the second, making it a 6-0 game. In the third, against reliever Matt Albers, he belted another two-run shot to left-center, increasing the Orioles’ lead to 10-0.

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Machado is now batting .308/.368/.560 with 25 home runs and 67 RBI in 468 plate appearances this season.

Sunday marks Machado’s first three-homer game and his eighth multi-homer game. He’s never had seven RBI in a game before, but he did knock in six earlier this year on May 8 against the Athletics.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.