Davis contributes as Orioles top Bosox
Picks up three hits to end hitless streak
BOSTON – If hitting is contagious, kudos to the rest of the Baltimore Orioles for finally having something for Chris Davis to catch.
The beleaguered first baseman notched his first hit of the season in the first inning and was one of five Orioles with a multihit game Saturday as they broke out against former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello. The resulting 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on a beautiful Fenway Park afternoon snapped the Orioles’ four-game losing streak.
Davis’ first-inning single with the bases loaded gave the Orioles (6-9) a 2-0 lead and broke a 54-at-bat stretch without a hit dating to 2018.
Davis nearly ended the streak with a pinch-hit opportunity in the ninth inning Friday night. But he didn’t leave it to chance Saturday, drawing applause from the crowd at Fenway Park.
Once he was safe at first base, Davis tipped his helmet to the Orioles’ dugout. Infielder Jonathan Villar had hopped the railing and was celebrating on the dirt in front of the dugout. Davis motioned as if he wanted the baseball.
It ended a record-setting streak in a meaningful way for an offense that has struggled to get going early in games this week.
They loaded the bases again in the second but didn’t score, and after Andrew Cashner allowed a tworun home run to No. 9 hitter Christian Vazquez in the third, the Orioles started scoring in bunches. Davis doubled with two on and nobody out in the fifth inning for his second hit of the game and his third RBI, then added a fourth RBI on a forceout to cap a four-run sixth.
With two more runs in the seventh, the Orioles made their margin comfortable for their bullpen. Their season high was 12 runs in Monday’s win over the Oakland Athletics, coincidentally the previous time Cashner pitched. That’s what happens when so many players contribute the way they did Saturday.
Jonathan Villar reached base four times on two walks and two singles, and scored twice. His single to open the ninth inning made it six straight innings in which the Orioles had the leadoff man on.
Trey Mancini had a double, a single and scored twice. Dwight Smith Jr. walked three times and scored twice, while Renato Nunez and Rio Ruiz had two singles apiece.
Cashner didn’t win his third game until July 27 last season, but needed only until his fourth start of 2019 to accomplish that with five-plus innings of three-hit, three-run ball against the Red Sox.
The third inning, in which he allowed the home run to Vazquez, was the anomaly on the day, though it made for 15 games in a row in which the Orioles allowed a home run, one shy of the major league record.
He’d need 28 pitches for two hitless innings to start the game, then had a laborious 30-pitch third inning. He needed 18 pitches to get through the next two innings before Boston turned over their lineup a third time and chased him with a double and a single to start the sixth.
His third run scored when Jimmy Yacabonis cleaned up a two-on, noout mess with a double play.
Yacabonis allowed two runs on a double by Vazquez in the seventh, and Tanner Scott had a tense time finishing that inning off.
But after he retired the first batter of the eighth and allowed a oneout single, Mychal Givens came on in his most traditional deployment of the season to strike out two in the eighth and two more in a scoreless ninth.