Chris Davis struck out in each of his first two at-bats Wednesday. He flied out with the bases loaded in the fifth.
He certainly made the most of his next opportunity.
Davis hit his major league-best 41st homer in Baltimore’s four-run eighth inning, helping the Orioles to a 10-3 victory over the San Diego Padres.
”The thing about Chris,” manager Buck Showalter said, ”he is so lethal that he may have some bad at-bats, but you never think he’s not a swing away from really doing something good for you.”
Davis belted a tiebreaking three-run shot into the bleachers in right-center on the first pitch from Colt Hynes. The drive traveled an estimated 453 feet, making it one of the longest home runs in the history of spacious Petco Park.
”I don’t know if it’s the longest one I ever hit,” Davis said, ”but it’s one of the longer ones. It helped that the wind was blowing out a little bit.
”I think I had some pitches earlier in the game that I could have hit, so to get that pitch early and to put a good swing on felt pretty good.”
Brian Roberts tacked on a sacrifice fly, and the Orioles then broke it open with three more runs in the ninth. Davis walked and scored on J.J. Hardy’s two-run single in the big final inning.
Luke Gregerson (5-6) allowed singles to Manny Machado and Adam Jones before Davis went deep, giving him a majors-best 106 RBIs.
”I have felt good the last couple of games,” said Davis, who went 2 for 4 in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory. ”I feel comfortable in the box, but haven’t had much to show for it.”
Jedd Gyorko hit a tying three-run homer in the sixth for San Diego, which has dropped three of four. Alexi Amarista had two hits.
”We had a little bit of a breakdown in our bullpen,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
The Orioles’ scoring outburst handed a win to Francisco Rodriguez (1-0), who struck out two in a perfect seventh inning. Troy Patton and Darren O’Day then combined for the final two innings.
San Diego wasted a solid start by Eric Stults, who allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.
”It was a battle,” Stults said. ”Location wasn’t the greatest. I was able to keep us in the game. But I felt like I had some mental errors. I wasn’t as sharp as I should have been.”
J.J. Hardy hit his 19th homer in the second, and the Orioles used San Diego’s sloppy defense to score single runs in the fourth and fifth.
Machado reached on second baseman Gyorko’s error in the fourth. Adam Jones followed with a sharp single up the middle and Machado came around to score when Amarista threw the ball into Baltimore’s dugout while trying to get the runner at third.
Stults’ error on pitcher Miguel Gonzalez’s sacrifice in the fifth allowed the Orioles to load the bases with no outs. Nick Markakis popped out, but Machado singled to center to give Baltimore a 3-0 lead.
Gonzalez struck out eight in six innings and was charged with three runs and six hits.
”I felt Miggy was as good as anything that happened in the game,” Showalter said. ”He gave a up a 3-2 walk and a broken-bat single to left and then made one or two mistakes. The game isn’t always fair.”
Gonzalez was sailing along until Gyorko’s drive skidded off the top of the fence in center in the sixth. Chris Denorfia and Yonder Alonso were aboard for Gyorko’s 10th homer of the season.
Hardy tacked on a two-run single in the ninth and finished with three RBIs.
NOTES: Padres OF Carlos Quentin (right knee) remained out of the starting lineup. He could be headed for the disabled list if he is unable to play this weekend in Cincinnati. ”We are giving him every opportunity to get to the point where he can play whether it’s in a pinch-hitter role or back on the field full bore,” Black said. ”We are coming closer to the decision whether to put him on DL or whether we can wait another day or two.” … SS Ronny Cedeno, who was promoted on Tuesday, went 0 for 4 in his San Diego debut. … Orioles RHP Jason Hammel, who is on the DL with a right flexor mass strain (between forearm and elbow), tried to throw Tuesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he’s still experiencing ”some discomfort” and might not be ready to come off the DL when he’s eligible on Tuesday. … Showalter said minor league LHP Tsuyoshi Wada from Japan could be a potential September call-up as a reliever and possibly a starter. He threw five scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday night and has had back-to-back scoreless outings.