Davis ‘hav­ing a tough time’

Strug­gles at the plate con­tinue for vet­eran af­ter du­gout out­burst

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Jon Me­oli

NEW YORK — Ori­oles first base­man Chris Davis hasn’t en­joyed much suc­cess since he reached what he called his “break­ing point” in a du­gout al­ter­ca­tion with man­ager Bran­don Hyde last week at Cam­den Yards.

Davis wasn’t in the lineup for the first game of Mon­day’s dou­ble­header, and went 0-for-3 with two strike­outs in the sec­ond game be­fore he was pinch-hit for by Ste­vie Wilk­er­son as the Ori­oles tried to rally.

In 14 plate ap­pear­ances since he was pulled from Wed­nes­day’s game in the fifth in­ning for shout­ing and charg­ing at Hyde in the du­gout, Davis has a dou­ble, a walk, a sacri­fice fly and nine strike­outs. His .178 bat­ting av­er­age is as low as it has been since the All-Star break.

“I think he’s just hav­ing a tough time,” Hyde said. “He’s grinding, he’s try­ing, and it’s just … yesterday they threw him a ton of off-speed and he had a tough time. He was kind of geared up for the fast­ball. And he faced [Astros right-han­der] Justin Ver­lan­der the day be­fore, which is not an easy task for any­body.

“His at­ti­tude has been great. Ev­ery­thing is go­ing re­ally well ex­cept for the re­sults at the plate. I just feel for him.”

Shep­herd joins Ori­oles

Right-han­der Chan­dler Shep­herd flew across the coun­try to pro­vide pitch­ing cover for the Ori­oles in late-July, but didn’t pitch. He’ll hope that be­ing re­called from Triple-A Nor­folk on Tues­day will al­low him to make his ma­jor league de­but this time around, as Mon­day’s dou­ble­header left the Ori­oles light on long re­lief.

Shep­herd had two of his best ap­pear­ances of the sea­son be­tween his ma­jor league stints, low­er­ing his ERA from 8.39 to 7.22 with a pair of qual­ity starts for the Tides.

“He’s made a cou­ple nice ap­pear­ances the last cou­ple times, and fol­low­ing yesterday, we needed to add a pitcher for some length to­day and get a fresh arm in here,” Hyde said. “Added Shep­herd, and we’ll see if he gets in the game.”

Shep­herd said the re­cent suc­cess has come down to him be­ing bet­ter equipped to turn over a lineup mul­ti­ple times by em­brac­ing his se­condary pitches, some­thing that didn’t come as nat­u­rally as a con­verted re­liever.

A pos­si­ble long-re­lief role could al­low him to show­case that.

“It’ll be spe­cial,” Shep­herd said. “My last time here was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for me, and I’d say I’m ready to get into a game and help this team out. It would be very spe­cial.”

JULIO CORTEZ/AP

Ori­oles first base­man Chris Davis has seen his bat­ting av­er­age drop to .178 since his du­gout al­ter­ca­tion with man­ager Bran­don Hyde.

MIKE STOBE/GETTY

Davis has struck out nine times and had just one hit in 14 plate ap­pear­ances since his ar­gu­ment with man­ager Bran­don Hyde last week.

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