Davis, Gonzalez help O’s end four-game skid
st. petersburg, fla. — Chris Davis admitted that the Baltimore Orioles hitters may have been pressing over the past three weeks, trying to do too much with one swing of the bat as they collectively struggled to score runs. But Davis provided the Orioles with more offense with one swing of his bat Saturday night than they had at any point during their fourgame losing streak.
Runs haven’t been easy to come by for the struggling Orioles, but they needed just one clutch hit to propel them to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, ending their four-game skid in front of an announced 24,327 at Tropicana Field.
Davis gave the Orioles all the offense they would need, hitting his fifth career grand slam in the third inning. In the No. 2 spot of the batting order for the fourth time in his career, Davis drove a full-count, 93-mph fastball from Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez into the right field seats.
“I think it gives you a little bit of breathing room and allows the pitching staff and the defense to go out and relax a little bit,” Davis said. “. . . I think we did a great job tonight of having good at-bats, making them work and taking advantage of opportunities to score.”
The Orioles have won just wins of their past 21 games and have scored more than four runs just twice in their past 14.
Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez held the Rays scoreless for the first seven innings before allowing a solo homer to Curt Casali in the eighth. Overall, Gonzalez held Tampa Bay to one run over 7 2/3 innings, his deepest start since going eight innings May 29.
“I think there were situations where we probably pressed a little bit,” Davis said.
“I think it’s natural when you’re scuffling to try to score runs to try to go out there and do too much. I thought it was a great inning for us to put together some base hits and come through with a big hit, and for Miggy to shut them down was big.”
Davis’s blast provided a lead the Orioles hadn’t had often over the past week. It was the team’s second lead since Sunday.