Baltimore Orioles: Dark Day in Birdland with Davis Absence Looming


Apr 22, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) reacts to a strike call in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.The Toronto Blue Jays won 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

In what was the darkest day in Birdland so far this season, the Orioles announced All-Star first baseman Chris Davis is headed to the 15-day DL and the Orioles lost to the Kansas City Royals 9-3.

After initial reports from Davis suggested that his left oblique strain may be something he could get over in the next few days, the Orioles made the decision today to remove him from the active roster. Davis will be eligible to return to the Orioles May 11, though there is a strong possibility that he could be out longer than that as he nurses his injury.

The move takes an important left-handed power hitter out of the Orioles lineup and forces Nick Markakis, who has shown little power this year and is slugging only .360, into the heart of the order.

Davis’ presence was missed today as the Orioles were unable to touch Royals starter James Shields in the early going. Davis is 4-for-12 with two home runs and six RBI against Shields in his career.

Shields held the Orioles in check for six innings as Kansas City amassed a 4-0 lead on the back of second baseman Omar Infante. Infante finished the game with 6 RBI, touching up Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez for four runs (three earned) and helping put the game out of reach in the seventh inning with a two-run home run against right-handed reliever Evan Meek.

Meek also surrendered a two-run double to Alex Gordon in the seventh, allowing a total of four runs on five hits in less than an inning of work. That Royals’ rally crushed the Orioles’ momentum generated by a two-run home run from hot-hitting Nelson Cruz that brought the score to 2-4 in the bottom of the sixth.

With the Royals up 8-2, neither team struck again until the ninth inning when a pair of doubles hit by Gordon and Mike Moustakas brought Gordon home, extending the lead to 9-2 off of Orioles reliever Ryan Webb. Nick Markakis scored in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch after he singled and advanced to third on a Delmon Young pinch-hit double, bringing the game to its 9-3 final score.