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Chris Davis hits a long ball in Orioles 8-1 win over Red Sox

Straily solid in second start

April 15, 2019 - 8:54 pm
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By Jake McDonnell

Two days ago Chris Davis ended an 0-for-54 hitless streak dating back to last season, pacing the Orioles offense with three hits and four RBI in a 9-5 Baltimore win. On Monday, Davis blasted his first home run in 121 at-bats as the Orioles took down the Red Sox 8-1 to split their first series of 2019 at Fenway Park.

Leading 4-1 in the eighth inning, Davis crushed Heath Hembree’s 89-MPH sinker over the right field wall, bouncing off the top of the Orioles bullpen. Renato Nunez, who went 3-for-5 on the day with an RBI single in the second inning, scored on Davis’ homer after hitting a double.

The last time Davis hit a home run was on August 24, 2018 off Zack (then “Zach”) Britton in a 7-5 Orioles loss to the Yankees.  

“It felt really good,” Davis said after the win. “Going into today you know it’s going to be tough, 11 o’clock start. It felt good. I felt like my first at-bat I did a good job being patient. My second at-bat I was just kind of swinging. But it felt good.”

Along with Davis, Dwight Smith Jr. hit a two-run homer on Monday. In the fifth inning, Smith Jr. deposited his third long ball of the year into the right field stands by the infamous ‘pesky pole’. The young outfielder finished with four RBI, adding a two-run single in the ninth inning that made the score 8-1.

Considering Smith Jr.’s first two at-bats resulted in double plays, he made up for it in his final two plate appearances. Jonathan Villar, who scored on Smith Jr.’s dinger, brought Richie Martin home in the fifth inning on a ground ball single to right field.

In his second start with Baltimore, Dan Straily allowed just one run in five innings on two hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. He threw 86 pitches, 51 for strikes. In his first two outings with Baltimore, Straily allowed at least five runs both times out, lasting just 3.1 innings in his previous start against Oakland.

“A lot cleaner out there mechanically, a lot cleaner sequencing,” Straily said after the game. “Getting the pitcher-catcher relationship that I didn’t get in spring training to work with Sucre, it was nice to get out there and have a couple games in a row with him and really kind of learn each other and how we work, so things are starting to come together. But in no means are we satisfied. It’s an ongoing process and we still hope to do this 28 more times.”

The Red Sox put their lone run off Straily on the board in the fifth inning. After both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers hit singles to put runners on first and third, Steve Pearce reached on a fielder’s choice. The play resulted in a 5-4 force-out but simultaneously allowed Bogaerts to score.

When Villar received the throw from Rio Ruiz and touched the bag for the force out, Devers appeared to slide too far and into Villar. This promoted manager Brandon Hyde to make the umpires review the call. When the play stood and a second out was not given to the O’s, Hyde argued the decision and was ejected from the game. This marks the first time Hyde has gotten tossed as a major league manager.

“I just saw the runner slide past the base and not maintain contact with the base,” Hyde said. “I’ve seen it called so many different ways. I just totally disagree with the ruling in New York. I understand I’m going to get ejected there. I just want clarity on how that’s possible, that a guy slides past the base, doesn’t maintain contact with the base, goes up into our fielder. If Villar’s not there, he slides five feet past the base. Why isn’t that a double play and the runner go back to third base?”

After Straily exited, Jimmy Yacabonis, Paul Fry, Evan Phillips, and Miguel Castro combined for the final four innings without allowing a run. Yacabonis and Fry tallied a strikeout. Castro gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth but got Bogaerts to fly out to Cedric Mullins in center-field to seal the victory.

Tuesday through Thursday the Orioles continue their seven-game road trip for three games against the Rays in St. Petersburg. The surprising 12-4 Rays hold a 5.5 game lead in the American League East over both the Orioles and Yankees.

All three games from Tropicana Field have a 7:10 p.m. first pitch. Tomorrow’s matchup on the hill is Dylan Bundy (0-1, 8.76 ERA) vs. Tyler Glasnow (3-0, 0.53 ERA).

Follow Jake on Twitter @JMcDonnell95