I’m not sure when the rest of the league realized that it had a problem with Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles, but…they do. In last night’s 8-5 win over Toronto Davis hit his 35th home run of what could be a historic season. I don’t say that necessarily to mean Davis will challenge Barry Bonds‘ record of 70 homers in a season. However there are numerous Oriole team records that might well fall this season if Davis keeps up this pace. In fact, Davis has now passed Boog Powell who previously held the Orioles’ record for most RBI prior to the all-star game. Powell recorded 86 in 1969, and Davis passed that on his way to 88 last night.
Chris Tillman won his 11th game of the season for the Birds last night. Tillman’s line: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K. However Toronto took an early lead in the second inning when J.P. Arencibia shot a tw0-run homer into the seats. However Davis’ aforementioned 35th home run tied the game at two in the last of the inning, only to have Juan Encarnacion send a solo shot into the seats in the third. It appeared at that point that it would be “one of those nights” in the sense that the ball was flying out of the yard. However by that I mean that it appeared the two teams would be trading blows one-by-one. That was furthered in the last of the third when Adam Jones gave the Orioles the lead with a three-run homer.
However Toronto bats quieted off after that. The O’s still had some power left in them however, as J.J. Hardy sent a shot over the wall in left for a three-run homer and an 8-3 Orioles’ lead. Adam Lind would double home two Toronto runs in the ninth to make the score 8-5, however it was to no avail as the O’s were all over their Canadian counterparts in this one.
Prior to the game the Orioles DFA’d Jair Jurrjens off the 40-man roster, and purchased the contract of Jair Asencio who ended up making his 2013 major league debut in the game (in relief). The one concern from the Orioles’ standpoint is that they ended up having to use four relievers in the game, which might put the ‘pen in a bit of a pickle for the rest of the weekend. However it might be worth saying that this is a sort of “all hands on deck” type of weekend for the Orioles given that the entire team (with the exception of Jones, Davis, Hardy, and Machado) will have most of next week off with the all-star break being upon us after tomorrow’s game.
The series continues today with a late afternoon matinee at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The O’s will send Jason Hammel to the mound for his final start of the first half, and he’ll be opposed by Todd Redmon of Toronto. It’s somewhat important to note when talking about guys’ first half numbers that the first half was a bit longer this year than in the past. Normally the all-star break was the second week in July; this year it’s the third.