Chris Davis is on quite a tear over the past three weeks. Now, if he can just get his teammates to follow suit.
Davis tries to continue his torrid pace Saturday night when the Baltimore Orioles continue their four-game series against the struggling Oakland Athletics.
Returning home after getting no-hit by Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma on Wednesday, the Orioles (58-56) erased a 4-0 deficit and blew a two-run lead in the ninth before Manny Machado won Friday’s series opener in the 13th inning with a two-run homer.
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”We needed this win to get us going,” Machado said. ”We’re just glad we got it over with, however it was.”
Adam Jones began the comeback with his third home run in four games – a three-run shot in the fifth – before Davis capped the seventh with a two-run homer, his 32nd of the season and eighth career onto Eutaw Street at Camden Yards.
Davis matched a season high with three hits and is batting .333 with 13 home runs, 32 RBIs and a 1.290 OPS in 22 games since July 22. He leads the AL in home runs and RBIs during that span and is tied with Toronto’s Josh Donaldson for the major league lead with 85 RBIs.
Machado’s second career walk-off homer gave Baltimore (58-56) its sixth win in eight home games and pulled it within 1 1/2 games of the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card.
The Orioles have homered 14 times in the past eight games, scoring 22 of their 36 runs in that stretch via the longball.
Steven Vogt hit a two-run homer and Coco Crisp tied a career high with four hits for Oakland (51-66), which has surrendered 26 runs in losing the first four on a seven-game trip.
”Anytime you have a 4-0 lead, you feel you’re in a pretty good position to win the game,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”Just a three-run homer – and that’s what they do is hit home runs – got them right back in it.”
Crisp is 7 for 14 against the Orioles this season and 4 for 65 against everyone else.
Chris Bassitt’s lone win this year came against Baltimore earlier this month, and he’ll look for a repeat performance Saturday.
Bassitt (1-4, 2.48 ERA) has a 2.27 ERA in seven starts, allowing two or fewer runs six times while completing at least six innings in five straight appearances.
He had perhaps the best performance of his career Aug. 4, allowing five hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out seven in a 5-0 victory over the Orioles.
Miguel Gonzalez (9-8, 4.45) was the losing pitcher in that game, yielding three runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings. That’s part of a dismal stretch for Gonzalez, who is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in his last three starts.
The right-hander has been even worse at home lately, going 0-3 with a 12.08 ERA while yielding five homers over 12 2-3 innings in as many outings.
Baltimore could use some innings out of Gonzalez after its relievers pitched six innings or more three times in five games.
Brett Lawrie and Billy Butler have both struggled against Gonzalez, combining to go 5 for 30 (.167). Crisp, however, is 3 for 5 with two doubles.