Machado shines in Dodger debut
MILWAUKEE — With his easygoing demeanor and smooth swing, Manny Machado made quite a first impression on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mannywood 2.0 is off to a successful start.
Machado singled twice and walked twice in his debut with the Dodgers, who used a tiebreaking RBI single by Chris Taylor to beat the sliding Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 on Friday.
“It was awesome,” Machado said. “It was amazing to go out there and put on the uniform, come out with a W today on the first day. Just happy to be here with these guys. It’s a great group here, great team.”
Machado was acquired in a blockbuster trade with Baltimore on Wednesday. The Brewers also were in the mix for the All-Star shortstop, but the Dodgers reeled him in with a package of five prospects.
The July deal — and Machado’s impressive debut — brought back memories of Los Angeles’ 2008 trade for Manny Ramirez, who helped power the Dodgers to the National League Championship Series.
“He’s our new Mannywood, 2.0 I guess,” a smiling Kenley Jansen said after working the ninth for his 28th save.
NL West-leading Los Angeles was held in check by Wade Miley before going ahead to stay in the seventh. Moments after Yasmani Grandal was cut down at the plate on a nice pickup by catcher Manny Pina, Taylor singled in Chase Utley to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Machado’s second hit then set up Max Muncy’s run-scoring double off Taylor Williams (0-3).
Enrique Hernandez added a three-run homer in the ninth as Los Angeles earned its fifth win in six games. Rich Hill (3-4) struck out nine while pitching six innings of five-hit ball.
“I love pitching here,” Hill said. “The mound is great. It’s just a great backdrop.”
Milwaukee returned from the break to an emotional apology from reliever Josh Hader for years-old racist and homophobic tweets that surfaced during the All-Star Game. Miley tossed six effective innings in his 200th career start and Jesus Aguilar hit his NL-best 25th homer in the eighth, but the Brewers dropped their seventh straight game.
Christian Yelich hit a two-run triple in the ninth, but Jansen struck out Aguilar for the final out.
“The bottom line is we’re not scoring enough runs,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re playing often behind through this stretch.”
With his teammates standing behind him during a news conference, the 24-year-old Hader said the tweets — which included a slur used to disparage African-Americans — “were never my beliefs. I was young. I was saying stuff out of just ignorance and that’s just not what I meant.”
Hader is going to participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives in addition to sensitivity training, according to Major League Baseball.