In just his second major league game, highly-touted prospect Manny Machado made a statement that he belongs in the big leagues for good.
The 20-year-old phenom finished 2-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI, propelling Baltimore to a 7-1 victory in Friday's series opener with the Kansas City Royals.
"It was the best feeling ever," Machado said of his first major league homer. "I've dreamed about that my whole life, about going out there and getting that curtain call, and second game in the big leagues I get it."
Machado became the 12th youngest major leaguer since 1918 to hit at least two home runs in a game.
Omar Quintanilla added three hits and also belted a homer for Baltimore. The 7-8-9 hitters combined for seven of the Orioles 10 hits on the night.
Miguel Gonzalez (4-2) continued his stellar pitching for the O's, going eight innings while allowing just six hits and one earned run with five punchouts. He's given up just one earned run over his last 15 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.42 in the process.
For the Royals, Luke Hochevar (7-10) was roughed up, allowing seven hits and seven earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.
Salvador Perez knocked in the only run Royals run with a solo homer in the top of the second.
On Saturday, Kansas City will rely on Luis Mendoza, who's 5-8 on the year with a 4.36 ERA.
Mendoza pitched into the eighth inning for the second consecutive start on Aug. 6, allowing seven hits and four earned runs over 7 1/3 innings in the 4-2 loss to the White Sox. He's run into some hard luck of late, as he sports just a 2-4 record in his last six starts despite owning a 3.61 ERA in that span.
The 28-year-old right-hander has fared better away from Kauffman Stadium this year, compiling a 3.88 ERA over 53 1/3 road innings.
The Orioles will counter with Chris Tillman, who has been a pleasant surprise since joining the rotation on July 4. In six starts, he is 5-1 with a 2.38 ERA.
The 24-year-old won his fourth consecutive start on Aug. 6, allowing just one earned run over 7 1/3 innings of work in a 3-1 win over the Mariners.
"I feel like I put a lot of work in the offseason and carried in into the season," Tillman said following his last outing. "I feel like it's starting to pay off here, and we're not done."
Tillman has been touched up in two career starts against the Royals, allowing 17 hits and 11 earned runs over just 8 1/3 innings.
Baltimore has won four of its seven meetings with the Royals this season.