The Norman Transcript

July 31, 2013

Davis hits 38th long ball as O’s edge Astros

By David Ginsburg
The Associated Press

BALTIMORE — It’s safe to say the media covering the Baltimore Orioles was more concerned about Chris Davis’ home-run dry spell than the slugger himself.

After Davis hit his major league-leading 38th homer to give the Orioles a 4-3 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, someone asked him how happy he was to end a 10-game, long ball drought.

“Oh, I’m so happy,” he said, quite sarcastically. “I can go home and sleep tonight. Just eat food again. I don’t have to wake up every three hours and cry.”

Davis came in with a .205 batting average since the All-Star break and was without a homer since July 14. The sixth-inning drive off Lucas Harrell (5-11) was his first extra-base hit in seven games and gave Baltimore its first lead.

“It was big because of when it happened,” Davis said.

Later, Davis acknowledged he was trying too hard and swinging at too many bad pitches.

“It’s not like I felt terrible,” he said. “I’ve been way too aggressive on balls out of the zone. ... That was my goal today, just to be a little more patient. It obviously paid off.”

J.J. Hardy hit a two-run single in the fourth inning to start Baltimore’s comeback from a three-run deficit. The Orioles got only three hits in winning for the second time in seven games.

Wei-Yin Chen (6-3) allowed three runs, seven hits and a walk in 7 1-3 innings for his fourth straight win. The left-hander had a season-high nine strikeouts and threw a career-high 119 pitches.

“To be honest with you, I’m a little tired right now,” he said through an interpreter. “This was the first time I threw that many in the U.S., but I definitely felt really strong and really good.”

Darren O’Day got two outs in the eighth and Jim Johnson worked a perfect ninth for his 36th save.

Jonathan Villar stole home and Robbie Grossman had a career-high three hits for the Astros, who are 2-9 since the break.

Bud Norris was scratched as Houston’s starting pitcher amid rumors he would be dealt before the non-waiver trade deadline of Wednesday at 4 p.m.

“You have a guy that has attracted a lot of interest from other ballclubs,” manager Bo Porter said before the game. “It just made more sense to not risk injury at this juncture of the conversation.”

Red Sox 8, Mariners 2: Rookie Brandon Workman struck out nine while picking up his first major league win, allowing one run over six innings as Boston beat Seattle.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia homered in the second, giving Workman a cushy 5-1 lead that the young right-hander never squandered in just his third start in the big leagues.

Joe Saunders (9-10) allowed six runs over five innings for Seattle.

Indians 7, White Sox 4: Pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn hit a two-run single in the eighth inning as Cleveland beat freefaling Chicago to win its sixth straight.

The Indians stayed within 2 1-2 games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

Cleveland was in danger of losing to Brazilian rookie Andre Rienzo in his debut before coming back against Donnie Veal (1-2), who started the eighth. Rienzo, the first Brazilian-born player to pitch in the major leagues, did not allow an earned run and only five hits in seven innings.

Tigers 5, Nationals 1: Alex Avila hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the sixth inning off Stephen Strasburg to lead Detroit past Washington.

Anibal Sanchez (9-7) gave up one run, five hits and two walks over seven innings for Detroit. Jose Veras, a day after being acquired from Houston, was perfect in the eighth in his Tigers debut. Joaquin Benoit, who will keep his job as the team’s closer, gave up one hit in the ninth inning.

Strasburg (5-9) allowed five runs, six hits and three walks while striking out seven over seven innings. Strasburg is winless in his last four starts.