Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis and company arrive in 2016

Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Chris Davis and company arrived in 2016 as the Baltimore Orioles defeated Tampaa 6-1 with multiple home runs.

While Chris Davis himself did homer in the first series of the year, through the first three games the Baltimore Orioles won mainly without the long ball. That of course was what was supposed to define this team when all was said and done. Last night we saw that power potential for the first time in the opening game against Tampa.

Chris Tillman got the start for the O’s, and when all was said and done he pitched fairly well. He didn’t have his good stuff early, but he seemed to get stronger as the outing went on. And in the end that’s a very good sign. Tillman’s line: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. The one run that he gave up was a solo home run to Longoria in the top of the first.

However the Birds didn’t trail for long. Davis smacked his second homer of the season in the last of the second to tie the game, a moment that would serve as a harbinger for the rest of the night. The O’s would take the lead in the last of the fourth on a Wieters RBI-single – and the O’s never looked back.

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Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles
Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles /


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  • One inning later the game was over – in a sense. Jonathan SchoopNolan Reimoldand Manny Machado would each tag solo home runs in the fifth. Add on another Wieters RBI-single, and the O’s had a commanding 6-1 lead. And the bullpen took it from there, with T.J. McFarland pitching three strong innings, and Brad Brach closing down Tampa in the ninth.

    Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
    Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

    Critics will suggest that while the O’s won this game, we saw many things that would actually be to their detriment. Some people will point out that all four Oriole homers were solo shots – and that’s true. However while the common saying is that a solo home run won’t hurt you, the fact is that multiple solo home runs will.

    Look at it from the other side of the coin; Tillman in fact gave up a solo shot as well – ONE solo shot. But other than that both he and the bullpen were dominant. So in fact that solo home run didn’t hurt him.  But the Orioles inflicted some pain on Tampa as a result of multiple solo shots.

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    Adam Jones missed his second consecutive game with soreness in his rib area, and J.J. Hardy missed last night’s game as well with calf stiffness. Both are cautionary moves, and according to Jones he could have played last night. It’ll be interesting to see if either player gets into the game tonight given the conditions – that is if they play. The forecast calls for a rain/snow mix at some point today. While it might be clear come game time, lows are also expected to reach into the 20’s.

    There were noises earlier in the week to the effect that the game tonight could be canceled due to the temperatures alone – but we won’t know where things stand on that until later. It ay be uncomfortable, but my view would be that if it’s clear, play ball. Easy for me to say I suppose.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez back in the saddle again

    Presuming that there is a game tonight, the O’s will take on Tampa in game two of the series. Mike Wright will make his first start of the regular season for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Drew Smyly. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.