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The Aberdeen IronBirds welcomed one of baseball’s most talked-about young players to their ranks recently, but besides that, there has not much good to talk about, as they’ve gone 1-6 over the last week and fell down to last place in their division.

Manny Machado, the high school shortstop who was chosen by the Baltimore Orioles as the third overall pick in the MLB June draft, and who received the sixth-highest signing bonus ever awarded to an amateur player ($5.25 million) made his way to Aberdeen on Monday to suit up with the IronBirds.

Speaking to the press prior to Monday’s match-up, the 18-year-old Machado said his promotion from the Gulf Coast League to Aberdeen had not elicited any nervousness, so far.

“I’ve never had butterflies in my life,” Machado said. “But, I suppose anything is possible.”

Machado explained that, rather than nervous, he was anxious to get on the field to prove himself.

“I’m excited for tonight,” Machado said. “I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. It’s going to be a good day.”

In his three games since coming to Aberdeen, Machado has gone 4-11 with a double for an average of .417, driven in one run, walked once and struck out twice.

Beaten in the 10th

In Wednesday night’s contest with the Connecticut Tigers, the IronBirds squandered a late-inning, two-run lead en route to a 3-2, 10-inning loss.

Both of Aberdeen’s runs came in the top of the second frame. After Connor Narron was called out on strikes to start the inning, Adam Gaylord smacked a double to left. One out later Austin Knight drove Gaylord home with a base hit into center. Zach Moore wrapped up the rally with a two-out, RBI liner into the right center field gap.

Justin Moore started for Aberdeen, holding the Tigers hitless for two innings, striking out two and walking zero before being pulled prior to the third inning.

Making his first appearance with Aberdeen, Jacob Pettit tossed four straight shutout innings before surrendering his lone earned run of the game in the seventh. Over five innings of work, Pettit allowed two hits, struck out five and walked one.

In the eighth, Aberdeen reliever Jason Gurka allowed the Tigers to tie the game up with a run on two hits.

Daniel Klein took over on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, and struck out two of the three Tiger hitters he faced in a perfect frame.

Aberdeen’s Jose Barajas (0-2) surrendered three straight singles in the bottom of the 10th, the last of which drove in the winning run for Connecticut.

Machado finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, while Gaylord went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Knight had two base hits in four trips to the plate.

Extra-inning loss

Playing in his fourth professional game after signing with the Orioles, Machado knocked in his first run for Aberdeen on Tuesday night. Sadly, though his RBI gave the IronBirds a one-run lead in the final frame, the host-team Connecticut Tigers were able to tie the game, and eventually topped Aberdeen 2-1 in 11 innings.

With the game scoreless in the top of the ninth, and having gone 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his previous three at bats, Machado came to the plate with teammate Mychal Givens on second base and one down. Givens had reached with a full-count, leadoff walk, then moved 90 feet over when Knight laid a sacrifice bunt down the third base line. Machado connected with the Connecticut hurler’s offering and drove it to the wall in left center, scoring Givens for what might have been the winning run. Connecticut, however, was able to retire Kipp Schutz and David Anderson to get out of the frame before Aberdeen could put another tally on the board.

In Connecticut’s half of the ninth, Aberdeen closer Steven Mazur surrendered a one-out, game-tying homer over the left field wall that pushed the game into extra innings.

After both team’s went scoreless in the 10th, Machado earned a one-out walk, and then was pushed over to second base when Anderson worked the pitcher for a two-out base on balls, but then inning ended on Narron’s fly out to center field.

With the bases loaded and two men down in the bottom of the 11th, Connecticut’s sixth hitter of the inning grounded to Givens at second, but he was unable to make a play on it, and the winning run crossed the plate.

Alex Schmarzo (0-1) took his first loss of the season in his two-third inning appearance.

Aberdeen starter Bruno Sanchez put together a fine outing, allowing just three hits over six innings, striking out four and walking one. Ashur Tolliver was perfect in a two-frame relief appearance, striking out one hitter and holding Connecticut hitless. Mazur went two innings, allowed one earned run and four hits, struck out one and walked two.

Stomped by Vermont

Playing at home on Monday, the IronBirds were topped 11-5 by the visiting Vermont Lake Monsters

After conceding a run in the top half of the first, Aberdeen evened the game, as Givens roped a leadoff single into left, then scored on Schutz’s RBI base hit. Later in the frame, Schutz scored the go-ahead run on Gaylord’s ground ball single up the middle.

The IronBirds would not score again until the eighth, when they were trailing 11-2. Schutz started the inning with a walk, stole second, and was driven home by David Anderson’s liner to right.

In their final at bat, Anderson roped a two-out double to left the plated Schutz and Rooney, who had both reached on a base hit.

IronBirds’ starter Justin Anderson (4-5) was charged with the loss after allowing three earned runs on six hits over three innings.

Losing streak snapped

A four-run seventh frame helped the IronBirds to a 7-2 victory over the visiting Vermont squad on Sunday night.

The win marked the end of Aberdeen’s four-game losing snap.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom half of the seventh, Joe Oliveira got things going with a leadoff double, and Moore followed with a bunt single. Sammie Starr loaded the bases after taking a pitch off his body, and then Givens was also plunked by the Vermont hurler, driving Oliveira home for the go-ahead run. With the bases still juiced, Schutz rifled a two-RBI single to left, and Gaylord ended the four-run rally by hitting a groundout that allowed Givens to race home from third.

Aberdeen went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Schutz knocked in Givens, who had reached via a one-out double.

Down 2-1 in the home half of the third, Aberdeen tied the game up when Givens cracked a homer over the left field wall to start the frame.

The IronBirds added one more in the eighth, with Schutz knocking Oliveira home with a base hit up the middle.

Klein (1-0) went two innings in relief, striking out three, walking one and holding Vermont to one hit in his first win of the season.

Tyler Sexton made the start and lasted six innings, surrendering two earned runs on three hits, striking out four and allowing a pair of walks. Clayton Schrader struck out two, walked one and didn’t allow a hit in his one inning of work.

Fourth straight loss

Aberdeen dropped its fourth straight game on Saturday night, losing 7-1 to Vermont at Ripken Stadium.

Early on, the game looked to be a pitcher’s duel, as Aberdeen starter Tim Adleman and the Vermont hurler held the opposing hitters scoreless through the first four frames.

Vermont got to Adleman for a pair in the fifth on a two-run homer, then chased him from the game with three more tallies in the sixth. Over 5 1/3 innings, Adleman (2-4) struck out four, walked three and allowed three hits.

The IronBirds saw their lone run come in the seventh. Schutz opened the frame with a double, moved over to third on David Anderson’s single, and scored on Gaylord’s sacrifice fly to center.

Tolliver allowed four hits over 1 2/3 innings, struck out a pair of hitters and held Vermont scoreless, while Barajas surrendered one run on two hits, struck out one and walked one over one inning. Schmarzo pitched one inning for Aberdeen, striking out two, walking two and allowing one run on two hits.

Shutout loss

The IronBirds managed just three hits on Friday night in a 2-0, road-game loss to Brooklyn.

Starr, Gaylord and Knight accounted for all of Aberdeen’s hits, with each of them rapping out a single.

Moore (3-2) had to settle for a loss despite coming through with a fine start. Over 6 2/3 frames, Moore allowed one earned and one unearned run on five hits, struck out five and did not surrender a free pass.

Jesse Rasner took over in the top of the seventh and finished the game for Aberdeen, tossing 1 1/3 innings in which he allowed one hit and struck out three.

With the loss, Aberdeen’s record against Brooklyn dropped to 1-9.

Beaten in 10

Prior to Thursday night, each of the five times the IronBirds saw one of their games go into extra frames, they had come out as the winning side, but a 4-3, 10-inning loss to Brooklyn ended that streak.

Aberdeen led the game 3-1 heading into the eighth, but the Cyclones posted one run in each of the final three innings to secure the win.

Behind 1-0 in the top of the fourth, Gaylord scored on a passed ball after reaching on a base hit, and moving to third on a throwing error.

Oliveira led off the fifth with a single, Rooney followed that with a bunt base hit, and Oliveira scored Aberdeen’s second run when Starr’s sacrifice bunt was misplayed. With Rooney on third, Knight lofted a sacrifice fly that put the visitors up 3-1.

After scoring the tying run in the ninth, Brooklyn plated the winning tally in the first extra frame with IronBird closer Mazur on the mound. Mazur (1-1) worked one inning and surrendered two runs on two hits in his first loss of the year.

Scott Copeland made the start for Aberdeen and worked through six innings, striking out seven, walking two and holding Brooklyn to one earned run on three hits.


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