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There's a first time for Steve Pearce at second base

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There's a first time for Steve Pearce at second base

Buck Showalter often provides the unexpected. There was Nick Markakis batting leadoff, Zach Britton closing and now he can only hope the Steve Pearce at second base experiment is as successful.

With Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty on the disabled list, Showalter used Rey Navarro at second. But, with Jimmy Paredes hot and Pearce a good hitter at Tropicana Field, he’s trying something new.

Paredes, who has played second is the DH, and Pearce, who hasn’t, is playing beside Everth Cabrera at short.

Pearce, who told reporters in St. Petersburg, Fla. that he has been taking ground balls from third base coach Bobby Dickerson, has never played second in professional ball.

He has played some at third base, and Showalter mentioned several months back that Pearce could play there, but second wasn’t discussed.

Pearce, who is from nearby Lakeland, Fla., enjoys hitting against the Rays. In 16 games at Tropicana Field, Pearce has five homers and a .314 average.

Pearce played 93 games at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park with the Pirates, and had just four home runs.

This is likely to be a short-term experiment. Ryan Flaherty could start a rehab assignment at Bowie next Monday, and so could  J.J. Hardy. Flaherty is eligible for activation a week from now and Hardy will be welcomed back when he’s ready.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles made right decision to play away this weekend

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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USA Today Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.