Orioles target two wins in a row over Braves
After sitting out eight games in attempt to rediscover his swing, the Baltimore Orioles are hoping first baseman Chris Davis is ready to resume his role as a provider of power.
Davis homered Friday night for the first time since May 9 and delivered a sacrifice fly as he returned to the lineup.
During the time he sat, Davis worked on techniques to rekindle his power and cut down on strikeouts. He was 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs in his return.
Davis and the Orioles will meet the Atlanta Braves on Saturday in the second game of a three-game series at SunTrust Park. Baltimore won the opener 10-7 on Friday.
Baltimore will start right-hander Dylan Bundy (5-7, 3.81) against Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran (5-4, 3.97)
“I have a tendency to try and explore, especially when I am scuffling,” Davis said. “I was trying to get that feeling back, trying to do too much.”
Davis had certainly been scuffling. He came into Friday’s game hitting .150 and was 3-for-27 with 14 strikeouts in the first seven games of June, before manager Buck Showalter ordered him shutdown and sent for inspection. Davis had led the majors in home runs twice from 2013 to 2015.
“It’s not a one-day, two-day, three-day (adjustment),” Showalter said. “It’s some things that he really wants to stay with. He understands what made him successful and what can again.”
Teheran will be making his 15th start of the season. He spent 10 days on the disabled list with a bruised right thumb. He came off the DL and on June 17 tossed six scoreless innings against San Diego. Teheran’s velocity increased from 89.5 mph to 91.4 mph and his location improved from his previous start before the injury.
“I think the uptick in velocity definitely helps his off-speed a little more,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “He had good feel with his changeup and slider. His curveball, not so much. But when you’ve got three out of four with some confidence, those are some good weapons.”
The win over the Padres broke a three-game losing streak and gave Teheran his first win since May 14.
He has one career start against the Orioles, and that was in 2015. In that game he allowed five runs in four innings and gave up a pair of home runs.
“When you have your arm feeling good, you don’t have anything else to worry about,” Teheran said. “You just go out there and make pitches. I felt like everything was working.”
Bundy will be making his team-leading 16th start. He has received more run support (5.22) than any other starter in the Baltimore rotation.
Bundy has won two straight games and was victorious against Miami on June 17 when he allowed four runs over six innings. Bundy had a longer leash that game, which the Orioles won 10-4. In his two previous starts he had combined for 15 shutout innings, including eight against the powerful Boston Red Sox. In the previous month he’s 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA.
Bundy has posted some impressive strikeout numbers. He has fanned 100 — and walked only 27 — in 89 2/3 innings. He had a season-high 14 strikeouts against the Chicago White Sox.
Bundy will be making his first career start against Atlanta.