A few pregame notes (O’s lead 3-1)

With outfielder Xavier Avery’s promotion earlier today, 16 players have now appeared on the active rosters of both the Orioles and Triple-A Norfolk Tides this season.

Avery isn’t expected to stay for long. He’s an extra outfielder until Nick Markakis rejoins the team Friday in St. Petersburg. And the Orioles will need another pitcher to replace Steve Johnson in the bullpen, with Pedro Strop a leading candidate.

The Orioles are 8-11 in series finales this season, including 4-5 on the road.

Only two Orioles have faced Astros starter Bud Norris. J.J. Hardy is 1-for-5 and Nate McLouth is 0-for-6.

Carlos Pena is the only Houston player who’s faced Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, going 2-for-6 with an RBI.

The Orioles have been including a “Daily Chris Davis ‘Wow’ Stat” in their game notes, and they’re not running out of material. Here’s the latest:

Davis hit his 20th double last night, equaling his total from last season. He’s on pace to hit 55 homers and 55 doubles this year. Albert Belle, in 143 games with the Indians in 1995, is the only player in baseball history with 50 homers and 50 doubles in the same season. He had 50 homers and 52 doubles.

Babe Ruth is the only other player to hit 50 homers in a season in which he also hit 40 or more doubles. He totaled 59 homers and 44 doubles in 152 games for the Yankees in 1921.

Here’s a bonus “Wow” stat:

According to STATS, Davis is the first player since 1921 to have 20 homers and 20 doubles in fewer than 60 games. Ruth had 19 doubles and 24 home runs in his first 59 games in 1921, and Belle had 25 doubles and 12 homers in his first 59 games in 1995.

The Orioles have scored 109 runs from the seventh inning and later - 100 in innings 7-9 and nine in extra innings - the most in the majors. According to STATS, the Orioles are tied with the Red Sox for the most runs in innings 7-9.

Also according to STATS, the Orioles have the highest combined batting average in the majors for the first through fifth spots in the batting order at .312. The Cardinals and Rockies are tied for second at .295.

Update: Gonzalez threw 23 pitches in the first inning and fell behind 1-0 on J.D. Martinez’s sacrifice fly. Chris Dickerson made a nice running catch, looking more like an NFL receiver.

The Orioles are 12-13 when their opponent scores first.

Norfolk is listing its next five starters as Tsuyoshi Wada, Josh Stinson, Jair Jurrjens, Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton. Jurrjens was a candidate to be skipped because of a sore thumb. For now, he’s still taking the ball on Saturday.

Update II: The Orioles scored three times off Norris in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.

Davis singled and scored from first base on Adam Jones’ double to left-center field. Again, Davis showed off his speed. It’s an underrated facet of his game.

Jones moved to third on Matt Wieters’ grounder to the right side, and he scored on Hardy’s single. Hardy is 6-for-11 in this series, and he has nine hits in his last five games.

Hardy’s average is now at a season-high .260.

Dickerson reached on a fielder’s choice, raced to third on Ryan Flaherty’s infield hit and scored on a wild pitch. His hustle made that run possible, and I’ve got $10 that says manager Buck Showalter mentions it during his postgame interview on MASN.

Taylor Teagarden is 0-for-2 today and 0-for-15 this season. The other backup, Chris Snyder, was 2-for-17.

Gonzalez has five strikeouts in three innings. He’s thrown 60 pitches, 40 for strikes.

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