BOSTON - The visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park figures to get a little more cramped Wednesday afternoon. Reliever Darren O’Day is scheduled to take an 11:30 a.m. flight to Boston if he wakes up in the morning without any discomfort in his pitching hand.
O’Day threw all of his pitches off a mound today in Sarasota, and manager Buck Showalter wants him back with the team.
Showalter is glad that Chris Davis never left.
Davis hit his 51st home run in the sixth inning tonight to tie the game and break Brady Anderson’s single-season club record of 50 set in 1996.
“I’m excited,” Davis said following the Orioles’ 3-2 victory over the Red Sox. “I’ve said all along when you’re hitting home runs and your team’s not winning, it feels like it’s kind of for nothing. I was obviously glad to tie the game there and for us to hang in there and get a run off Koji (Uehara), that’s something we’ve struggled to do in the past.”
Asked if he felt a sense of relief after finally eclipsing the record, Davis replied, “To be honest with you, I took a deep breath when I hit 50 - just to be tied with him and in the same conversation. I think the biggest thing for me is to go out there and have quality at-bats and do what I can to help the team win.”
Anderson is with the team in Boston and greeted Davis in the clubhouse.
“Yeah, I just saw him,” Davis said. “I didn’t know he was here. I just saw him in the clubhouse and he gave me a big hug and told me, ‘Congratulations.’ “
Davis’ ball settled into the seats in center field, traveling farther than he anticipated.
“It’s funny, but the last couple of balls I’ve hit to center here, I’ve hit them really high,” he said. “I feel like every time I go up out there, (Shane) Victorino’s running underneath it. I didn’t know if it was gone when I hit it. I know I hit it hard, but I didn’t know it was going to be far enough.”
Davis had struck out in his first two at-bats against Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster.
“He was throwing quality pitches my first two at-bats,” Davis said. “I went back and looked at them, and he was throwing good strikes, and sometimes you’ve got to tip your hat when a guy’s got good stuff. But I was able to look for one out over the plate. It actually wasn’t a bad pitch. It was down. I was just able to get the barrel on it.”
The Orioles won despite committing a season-high three errors and going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Starter Scott Feldman issued a career-high six walks.
“We obviously didn’t play the best defense tonight, and that’s something we take a lot of pride in, but Feldy did a great job of keeping them off the bases and really keep them from scoring,” Davis said. “Our bullpen came in and did a good job. It was definitely a good win.
“This time of year, you’ve just got to grind it out, go for the next nine innings. These games are important. Obviously, these will make or break us.”