The Orioles won their 68th game tonight, one fewer than they totaled in 2011.
Marinate in that one for a while.
And while you’re at it, check out these quotes from Chris Davis on his three-homer night:
“These games are important to us,” he said. “Obviously, we’re doing everything we can to win, no matter what it takes. I felt good at the plate tonight, was able to put some good swings on balls and had a really good night.
“I think Zach Britton went out there and just pitched outstanding for us. And I think it is a lot easier to go up to the dish and be relaxed when your pitcher is basically throwing up zeroes every inning.”
So, what was Davis thinking about in his fourth at-bat?
“I was thinking about trying to work a walk. I really wanted to see some pitches,” he said. “No, I was definitely thinking about the home run, the game (Adrian) Beltre had the other night against us, the one Josh (Hamilton) had earlier this year against us. He (Brad Lincoln) gave me a good pitch to hit on the first pitch and I fouled it off. He was tough after that, but the biggest thing is we get the win and I enjoyed a pretty good night.”
Fans gave Davis a standing ovation before and after the strikeout.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I mean, these fans have been awesome all year. After I pitched in Fenway and had probably the most horrendous day at the plate that anyone’s ever had, we came back home and they gave me a standing ovation. They’re good baseball fans, they understand the game and they appreciate players that play hard and are willing to do anything to get a win.”
Davis can’t remember getting a curtain call before tonight.
“I don’t know if I handled it right,” he said. “I kind of just popped out my head. I don’t like the spotlight a lot, if you don’t know that already. I just think these fans have been great. It was good to see a lot of people in the stands tonight. I think it’s going to be crucial coming down the home stretch to have them behind us.”
What does a night like this mean?
“It just means I feel good at the plate right now,” Davis said. “I feel really comfortable. Obviously, let the ball travel, be able to drive the ball to all fields. It’s a good sign. We need everybody we can. We can get rolling right now toward the end of the season. These games are really important.”
This wasn’t Davis’ first three-homer game.
“I had three last year in Round Rock, and I had three my first professional season at Spokane,” he said.
Manager Buck Showalter joked about how Davis hurts his hand when slapping it after returning to the dugout.
“He told me in New York that he liked it,” Davis said. “He popped me pretty good and he said, you know, he didn’t seem to mind it, so I get him when I get a chance.”
Asked if this night makes up for all the 0-fers, Davis replied, “I mean you just have to keep all that stuff in perspective. This is a game of failure. You know you’re going to go out there and you’re going to have some really bad nights, but the thing about it is you keep your head up and you keep going. Buck has put me in the lineup on nights that I didn’t think I should be in the lineup after having some horrendous games, and I really appreciate that. I think that’s big for a young player knowing that you’re going to be in the lineup. You may strike out four times and feel something in your fourth at-bat that felt good, and if it can’t carry over into the next game, that’s really frustrating.”
Britton has allowed two runs in 13 2/3 innings since being recalled.
“I think it’s just about being aggressive in the strike zone,” he said. “Before, I had a period where I was and I wasn’t. I was also throwing pitches at bad times, but right now (Matt) Wieters is doing a really good job of mixing up my pitches and just really going after guys and having the confidence to go after guys and get the ground balls. The defense did outstanding today. It was unbelievable. That gives you a lot of confidence, too, to have them hit the ball on the ground. You know they’re going to make the plays.
“I would say I’m a little more confident. I don’t know if comfortable is the right word. I feel good out on the mound. It’s just a matter of executing pitches. And right now I’m executing pitches a lot better. There’s still some room for improvement, which is good, so I’ll take that into my next start.”
Britton had the Blue Jays beating the ball into the ground for most of the night.
“I was throwing it over the plate and letting it do its work,” he said. “Not nibbling today, which is really big. The defense made some really big plays to help me out, so a lot of credit goes to them.”
Britton enjoyed Davis’ home run barrage as much as anyone. He watched the fourth at-bat in the clubhouse, “glued to the TV.”
“It was awesome,” he said. “He hit a three-run homer for me in Detroit, but to be a part of something like that, I don’t think I ever played with anyone who hit three home runs in a game. I was hoping he got another one, but he put some really good swings and that’s what he’s capable of doing. It’s not something where we’re shocked to see, but it’s nice to see him get in the grove.”