Chris Davis doesn’t blame the fans at Camden Yards for showering him with boos Wayne Simmonds Jersey , especially when he’s walking back to the dugout after another strikeout.The Orioles slugger is enduring a nightmare season. Although his power numbers have improved slightly since a recently mandated layoff, Davis is batting .156 with seven homers, 24 RBIs and 99 strikeouts at the midpoint of the season.|
Not exactly what the Orioles were expecting when they signed the left-handed hitting first baseman to a guaranteed seven-year, $161 million contract in January 2016.
At the time of the deal, Davis averaged 42 home runs and 109 RBIs over the previous three seasons and was coming off a year in which he hit .262 with 47 homers and 117 RBIs.
Since then, his production has dipped annually. His 2017 numbers – .215, 26 and 61 – were downright prolific compared to this year.
Thus, the jeers from the home fans, who have grown weary of watching the struggles of the highest-paid player on the worst team in the big leagues.
”I understand their frustration,” Davis said. ”I know exactly what I’m capable of and what I’ve done in the past. I know that the standard is high and I haven’t been playing that well. But I have to move forward and continue to try to find a way to still have an impact on this season.”
It’s probably too late for his bat to make a difference. His most significant influence on the team, unfortunately, is that his sizable contract makes it that much more difficult for Baltimore to pay big bucks to several of its pending free agents, most notably Manny Machado.
The Orioles and Davis appear destined to be together through the 2022 season, so both sides must make the best of it. That’s why Davis was given an eight-game hiatus in June to get his swing down and his head right. Up to that point, he had tried just about everything else.
”For me, it was exhausting,” Davis said. ”My solution to a lot of my problems in baseball has always been to work. I felt as long as I was working, as long as I was trying, that I would figure it out. This is the first time in my career when I was kind of at a point where I didn’t know what else to do.”
So he went to the sideline Thomas Vanek Jersey , working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson, a left-handed batter who hit 50 homers for the Orioles in 1996.
Upon his return, on June 26 in Atlanta, Davis homered and drove in two runs. Over the past 10 games, he’s hitting .158 with two doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and 13 strikeouts.
”His run production is a lot better, his at-bats have been better,” manager Buck Showalter insisted. ”They may say comparatively speaking, but if Chris continues at this rate, if you put it over 160 games it’s pretty good.”
Davis has tried just about everything else in an effort to get back into the groove, with the breakaway from the game coming as a last resort.
”I appreciate them giving me the chance to step back, gather myself and regroup,” he said.
Showalter and the organization can only hope for positive, lasting results.
”Chris has been a good friend of mine,” the manager said. ”He’s got a lot of support from the coaches and his teammates.”
With closer Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list, the Braves found strong relief elsewhere.
Four relievers combined to allow one hit in four scoreless innings, giving Atlanta’s bullpen an important lift as the Braves beat Baltimore 7-3 on Sunday for their first win over the Orioles in six years.
Freddie Freeman’s two-run single in the first inning gave Atlanta the lead and Dansby Swanson added a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth .
Left-hander A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth following scoreless innings from Shane Carle Gabriel Landeskog Jersey Kids , Jesse Biddle and Dan Winkler in relief of Brandon McCarthy. Vizcaino was placed on the DL before the game with right shoulder inflammation.
”My job was to kind of help out Vizzy today, give him some rest,” Minter said.
The bullpen’s strong showing was especially important after Braves relievers allowed nine runs and 10 hits on Friday night with Vizcaino unavailable.
”Those guys in the bullpen stepped up big,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. ”… They couldn’t have done any better.”
Baltimore won the first two games of the series and swept the last set between the teams in 2015. Atlanta ended a stretch of seven straight losses to the Orioles since 2012.
McCarthy (6-3) overcame home runs by pinch-hitter Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini to allow three runs in five innings.
Mancini, back in the lineup after missing three starts with a stiff neck, led off the third with his 10th homer . Despite Sunday’s loss, Mancini said winning the series from the Braves was the last-place Orioles’ best showing since winning three of four at the Yankees in early April.
”This series down here felt like us again, I’d say for the first time really since the New York series early in the year in the Bronx,” Mancini said.
Trumbo hit a two-run homer beyond the reach of center fielder Ender Inciarte in the fifth. Trumbo has five homers in his last seven games.
Charlie Culberson doubled in two runs and Nick Markakis also had a run-scoring double in the third as Atlanta took a 5-1 lead. Swanson’s homer off Brad Brach landed inside the left-field foul pole.
The Braves took a 2-0 lead before David Hess (2-4) recorded an out. Hess walked Enter Inciarte, who moved to third on Ozzie Albies‘ double. Both scored on Freeman’s single to left field.
Hess gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings – his third straight start allowing five runs.
Albies had three hits, giving him nine for the series.
Orioles: Trumbo did not start due to a sore right knee, a recurrence of a problem that surfaced in May. Trumbo is expected to be back in the lineup on Monday.
Braves: Vizcaino hadn’t appeared in a game since June 17 against the Mets. … Tyler Flowers remained in the game after being hit on his helmet with a pitch from Mike Wright Jr. in the fifth.
McCarthy was well-rested for a day game. Those were prime conditions for success for the 34-year-old right-hander.
McCarthy began the day 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four day games this season, compared to a 5.79 ERA in 10 night starts. He was making his first start since June 15, and he was 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in his previous three starts with at least six days rest.
OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (left knee sprain) likely will spend at least one more day on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett. Snitker said the Braves are ”still kind of evaluating” Acuna to ”make sure he’s healed. He feels he is.” Acuna has been on the DL four weeks, since May 28.
The Braves selected the contract of right-hander Evan Phillips from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he was 4-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 26 games, all in relief. INF Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment to create a spot for Phillips on the 40-man roster.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-7, 4.72) will try to end a streak of three straight losing decisions when Baltimore returns home to face Seattle on Monday night.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (right triceps tightness) is expected to come off the DL to start Monday night’s opening game of a three-game series against the Reds.