7/22/2013 12:13 A.M. ET
Wieters wielding hot bat out of second-half gate
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Matt Wieters has traditionally been a second-half hitter, and the catcher has stayed true to form in Baltimore's first series after the All-Star break, going 6-for-12 with two RBIs and four runs after notching hits in his first two at-bats in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Rangers.
"Just being able to stay locked in as the approach, where no matter how I feel, keep the approach of hitting the ball up the middle and staying through balls," Wieters said of his emphasis at the plate. "Not worrying so much about the result, but trying to get a pitch to hit. And I've been able to do that the last couple games."
The O's backstop has played in 91 of the team's 99 games. Over his career, he's gotten a little better offensively as the season goes on, posting his best line of .289/.362/.489 in September/October. How does Wieters, who plays the game's most physically demanding position, explain the late-year surge?
"I don't," he said. "And I don't try to."
Instead, Wieters -- who is consistently lauded for his work behind the plate by the pitching staff and around the league -- will try to keep it going for an Orioles lineup that has stormed out of the gates post-break.
"We monitor how I feel on a daily basis, and [hitting coach Jim Presley and manager Buck Showalter are both good with that," Wieters said of staying fresh down the stretch. "If I need to cut down on swings [in batting practice] I will. I feel good now, especially after a four-day break. I'll keep working, and we'll see how it is day to day."
Sans batting gloves, Machado switches it up
ARLINGTON -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado ditched his batting gloves for Saturday night's 7-4 win over the Rangers for no particular reason, with the 21-year-old simply in the mood to do something different.
"Just thought I'd change it up," Machado said of the move. "I did it in the Minor Leagues and when I was younger. It's something that just came out of nowhere, really."
Machado went 2-for-5 with an RBI, reaching base three times as the O's clinched a series victory over their hosts.
Asked Sunday if he'd stick with the trend or not, Machado -- who hadn't hit without batting gloves in a big league game until Saturday -- said it would be a "game-time decision" after he took batting practice with his gloves.
Machado went with his gloves for the first two at-bats Sunday, then removed them for his third at-bat and notched an RBI single. He also drew a walk without the gloves in the seventh.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.