Orioles head into break with home runs by Davis, Jones

Orioles head into break with home runs by Davis, Jones
July 14, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Davis racks up the RBIs in Orioles win

BALTIMORE – It was an All-Star kind of day. First, Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis and Adam Jones trotted out to receive their ceremonial jerseys. Then, Chris Tillman joined them, becoming the fifth All-Star.

Once the game began, it was Davis and Jones showing off. For the third consecutive game, Davis and Jones each hit home runs as the rest of the Orioles headed off to their break with a 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays before 34.748 at Oriole Park on Sunday.

The Orioles head into the four-day respite 10 games over .500 and with four wins in their last five games.  

“It was a W for Baltimore, and that's what it's about. We've got 66 games left? Grinding like heck through the season, all the challenges, and now we've got a chance to roll the dice with 66 games and let's see if we can play in October. That's what it's all about. We've positioned ourselves to have a chance to compete for that opportunity,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Their offense was potent, and the pitching was solid. Scott Feldman pitched into the eighth inning for his first win since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs.

Davis, who now has a major league leading 37 home runs, is just the second American Leaguer to hit that many before the All-Star break. He joined Reggie Jackson, who had that many in 1969. Jones has 19.

They’re just the second pair of Orioles teammates to homer in three straight games. Hank Foiles and Jim Gentile pulled off the feat from July 18-20, 1961

Feldman (1-1) pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking one.

“You saw a real professional outing by Scotty today. A veteran guy that can pitch. He uses people's aggressiveness against them,” Showalter said.

The Orioles (53-43) quickly took a 4-0 lead in the first. Nate McLouth and Machado started the first with singles. With one out, Jones’ base hit off Josh Johnson (1-5) gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Davis doubled to score Machado and Davis. Hardy’s run-scoring single accounted for the fourth run.

In the third, Jones walked for the third time in two games, and Davis hit his 37th homer. He heads off to New York with 93 RBIs, and the Orioles led 6-0.

“It means I can just take the second half off, and coast,” Davis joked.
 
“I think it’s something definitely to be proud of. It means I’ve been doing my job but it also speaks volumes about the guys in front of me getting on base and really swinging the bats well. I think that goes unsaid a lot of times. Manny’s got 3,000 doubles, Jonesy’s swinging the ball well. Nate and Nicky [Markakis] always being on base is huge for me,” Davis said.

When Showalter was reminded that Davis has hit his share of home runs to the opposite field, he noted that the slugger is a step ahead of the Orioles’ opponents.

“You can't shift to the stands. We've done our share of moving toward tendencies, but they don't allow you to put anybody out there. So hit it where the grass doesn't grow. He's got that type of, where he doesn't feel like he has to hurry. If they stay in one pattern and one place, he'll make them pay,” Showalter said.

Feldman gave up two runs in the fourth on a two-run single by Macier Izturis that just eluded second baseman Brian Roberts. Toronto (45-49) cut the lead to 7-2.

“They’ve got a good offense over there so you can’t just sit back and pump fastballs all game. You’ve got to mix it up,” Feldman said.

Jones hit his home run with two outs in the fifth to give the Orioles a 7-2 lead.

Tommy Hunter relieved Feldman with one out and one on in the eighth and allowed Jose Reyes to score on Edwin Encarnacion’s base hit.

In the ninth, Colby Rasmus doubled and Izturis singled off Hunter to cut the lead to 7-4. Jim Johnson came on to record his 33rd save.

Five Orioles headed to New York, the rest to destinations elsewhere.

“I think it’s always huge to build up some momentum going into the break, let guys kind of rest easy and get after it when we get back. Pitching has been solid, we’ve been swinging the bats well throughout the whole first half. So it’s definitely good to get those wins,” Davis said.

NOTES: Hardy has 200 RBIs as an Orioles shortstop. He’s one of four Orioles shortstops to have 60 homers and 200 RBIs. Cal Ripken, Miguel Tejada and Mike Bordick are the others.

They’ll resume play on Friday at Arlington, Tex. Wei-Yin Chen (4-3, 2.82) will pitch against Derek Holland (8-4, 3.08)