Davis, Gon­za­lez help O’s end four-game skid

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - ORI­OLES 5, RAYS 1 BY ED­UARDO A. ENCINA — Bal­ti­more Sun

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.

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