BOSTON - With one swing, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis tied tonight’s game and broke Brady Anderson’s franchise single-season home run record.
Leading off the top of the sixth, Davis drove an 82 mph slider from Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster into the center field seats for his 51st home run, knotting the score at 2-2. Anderson hit 50 homers during the 1996 season.
Davis also tied Anderson’s record of 92 extra-base hits set in the same season.
The Orioles were able to retrieve the ball from the Red Sox fan who caught it. The spectator requested an autographed ball from Davis in return for the souvenir.
Davis had struck out in each of his first two at-bats before stepping to the plate in the sixth. He’s now 3-for-14 with eight strikeouts lifetime against Dempster.
Twenty-three of Davis’ 51 home runs have tied the game or given the Orioles a lead. Davis raised his RBI total to 132 tonight.
T.J. McFarland has replaced Scott Feldman, who allowed two runs (one earned) and two hits in five innings, with a career-high six walks, three strikeouts and one home run. Feldman threw 103 pitches, 57 strikes.
McFarland, used again tonight in the later innings of a tie game, retired the Red Sox in order with two strikeouts in the sixth. Kevin Gausman is warming in the bullpen.
Update: Gausman worked a scoreless seventh inning to keep the game tied 2-2.
Dustin Pedroia reached on Manny Machado’s second error of the night, this one on a wild throw to first. The Orioles hadn’t committed three errors in a game since June 27, 2012 vs. the Angels.
Update II: The Orioles put runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the eighth and failed to score, making them 0-for-6 with RISP tonight and 20-for-99 (.202) in their last 12 games.
Machado produced his 51st double and 53rd multi-hit game of the season following Nate McLouth’s leadoff single, but Davis and Adam Jones grounded to short against a drawn-in infield and Nick Markakis flied to left.
Left-hander Craig Breslow faced Jones with one out, first base open and Markakis on deck. I was anticipating an intentional walk, but it didn’t happen.
Brian Matusz entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and struck out David Ortiz with the count full. Ortiz is 1-for-20 with 12 strikeouts vs. Matusz.
Tommy Hunter replaced Matusz and retired the next two batters.
Update III: Former Oriole Koji Uehara gave up a leadoff triple to Danny Valencia in the top of the ninth, and Matt Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead.
Uehara had registered 27 consecutive scoreless appearances over 30 1/3 innings and had retired 37 batters in a row.
Valencia was hitting .195 against right-handers, but the splits don’t really matter anymore. He’s swinging a hot bat and playing every night.
Jim Johnson will try for his 46th save.
Update IV: Game over. Johnson gave up a one-out single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia before retiring the next two batters in the Orioles’ 3-2 victory over the Red Sox.
Johnson earned his 46th save and the Orioles improved to 80-70 overall and 17-28 in one-run games.
Valencia is 15-for-37 this month. Is that good?