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I’ll let you down quickly and easily.
Tim Beckham is not going to hit .688 in his Orioles career. I promise you that.
But my goodness is the 27-year-old shortstop on an offensive roll since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. In four games as an Oriole, Beckham is 11-for-16 with three doubles, one triple, two homers and four RBIs.
He hit his second homer in two days Friday night against the Detroit Tigers in a 5-2 loss. The second-inning homer against Detroit ace Justin Verlander was the first of Beckham’s four hits. The other three were singles.
“He wants to play and he’s going to get an opportunity here. And we’ll see where it takes us. But, so far, he’s been really good, obviously,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ll see when the novelty of a new team wears off. But what do you want? You’d rather have it be this way. I don’t think anybody can stay at the pace he’s performing at right now, especially offensively.”
Beckham did get thrown out at third on a pitch that went to the backstop in the ninth inning. But replay showed he was probably safe, though the Orioles challenged it and the ruling was not overturned.
“It’s tough to fault a guy, wild pitch like that and you take off for third. If he stops, he’s out going back to second,” Showalter said. “Probably one of those things where he’s probably safe, but you’re not going to get that overturned.”
It was the only blemish on another strong night for Beckham.
Gausman keeps cruising
Right-hander Kevin Gausman extended his quality start streak to four with another well-pitched outing Friday against the Tigers.
He allowed a first-inning homer to outfielder Jim Adduci and then was fairly dominant after that. Gausman permitted just three hits – one after the first inning – while walking one and striking out eight in seven innings.
It was the fourth consecutive game in which he allowed one or fewer runs, threw six or more innings and struck out eight.
Since he allowed eight runs in three innings in his first game after the All-Star Break on July 14, Gausman has allowed two runs in 27 2/3 innings (0.65 ERA).
His season ERA, which was as high as 7.19 in mid-May, now sits at 5.15.
“I don’t know if it’s confidence. I think I’ve just executed my pitches a lot better,” Gausman said. “To get to the point where I’m at two strikes, I’m executing my pitches a lot better than I was early on.”
Mancini’s injury comes at unfortunate time
Trey Mancini fouled a ball off his left knee Thursday night and was held out of the lineup Friday. His knee, just below the kneecap, was rather sore Friday afternoon, and the Orioles have decided to be cautious with their prized rookie.
Showalter hopes it’s a day-to-day thing, and said Mancini is “worth waiting for.”
An X-Ray on Mancini’s knee came back negative Friday, as did an X-Ray on catcher Caleb Joseph’s right hand, which was hit by a Verlander fastball Friday night. Showalter has made contingency plans in case neither is available, but he’s confident both can play soon
The problem is, with Mancini unavailable Friday, the Orioles were down to a two-man bench: catcher Welington Castillo and infielder Ruben Tejada. Showalter would prefer a four-man bench, but currently he has six starting pitchers until a move is made (potentially sending Chris Tillman to the bullpen). A reliever may then be demoted to Triple-A Norfolk in exchange for another bat.
Not having Mancini this weekend wouldn’t be as concerning if Mark Trumbo (rib cage) wasn’t on the disabled list already. The Orioles are never hurting for power, but the bottom four of the Orioles lineup Friday have combined for 21 homers this season. In comparison, Jonathan Schoop leads the team with 24.
Props to Markakis for 2000
Former Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis picked up his 2,000th career hit Thursday night. Now an Atlanta Brave, Markakis, who logged 1,547 hits with the Orioles from 2006 to 2014, reached the milestone with an opposite-field single against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 33-year-old is the 10th active player with 2,000 hits and the 285th in the game to ever reach the mark.
As I’ve said before, Markakis is one of the best guys I ever covered; no one cares more about playing the game, and playing it the right way.
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