Manny Machado to make history with Opening Day start

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will make his first career Opening Day start today against the Rays.

Machado, 20, joins Brooks Robinson (19 in 1957, 20 in 1958), Ron Hansen (20 in 1958) and Boog Powell (20 in 1962) as the only Orioles players to make an Opening Day start at the age of 20-or-under. The last 20-or-younger Orioles player to play in an Opening Day game was Wally Bunker on April 13, 1965.

Machado, who joined the team last August from Double-A Bowie, will bat second in the Orioles lineup today. He’s never hit higher than sixth in a major league game.

Some other Opening Day tidbits:

** The Orioles return pitchers that made 151 of the 162 starts last season. Joe Saunders (7), Dana Eveland (2) and Randy Wolf (2) accounted for the other 11 starts.

** Orioles outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce, who will DH today, grew up in nearby Lakeland, about an hour drive away from St. Petersburg. This is the second time he's made an Opening Day roster. He will have more than 20 fans and family in the stands today at the Trop.

** The club also returns their top 13 pitchers in innings pitched from 2012. Those pitchers combined to pitch 1241.1 of the club-record 1483 innings.

** Brian Roberts is making his ninth Opening Day start, most of any current Orioles player. Nick Markakis is making his seventh, which is also the most by an Orioles right fielder in club history.  Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken have the most Opening Day starts in team history with 20.

** Seven players on the team’s Opening Day roster weren’t on the 25-man roster this time last year. Catcher Taylor Teagarden was on the DL. Miguel Gonzalez, Nate McLouth and Machado had their contracts purchased later in the season. Steve Pearce was claimed off waivers last season, Alexi Casilla was claimed this offseason and T.J McFarland was the team’s Rule 5 pick in December.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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