With a victory tonight, the Orioles would clinch their first season series win over the Yankees since 1997. Prior to that year, they hadn’t won a season series against New York since 1982.
Chris Davis needs one more home run to reach 50 and tie Brady Anderson’s single-season club record set in 1996.
Also, Davis would become the third player in major league history with 50 homers and 40 doubles in a season, joining Babe Ruth (59 homers/44 doubles in 152 games in 1921) and Albert Belle (52 homers/50 doubles in 143 games in 1995).
Davis already became the first Oriole with 40 homers and 40 doubles in the same season. He’s only the 11th left-handed hitter to do it in the majors, joining Carlos Delgado, Lou Gehrig, Shawn Green, Todd Helton,
Chuck Klein, David Ortiz, Babe Ruth, Willie Stargell, Hal Trosky and Larry Walker.
Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira did it as switch hitters.
“Every once in a while I do remind myself, I don’t want to use the word historic, (but) I just did. But every once in a while I go, ‘It’s pretty cool that I get to watch this,’ ” said manager Buck Showalter.
“It’s some kind of year he’s having, also at first base. He’s set the bar really high, not only for other players in the organization but also for himself. I hope you all are kind to him next year if he goes back to 30 and 101. I think we’d sign up for that in blood. But if I know Chris, he wouldn’t.
“I’d like to give Chris a DH day in Toronto, but don’t hold me to it.”
Davis used extra force to slap Showalter’s hand upon returning to the dugout following his 49th home run. The sound could be heard on Eutaw St. and in Utah.
“He stayed away from the real hard hand slap for a long time and then the other night he got me good,” Showalter said. “I thought he broke my hand. Sitting over there with John (Russell), people might wonder what I mutter. I said, ‘John, I think I broke my hand.’ Pretty impressive that he generates that much hand speed in that short distance.”
The Orioles will present Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with a gift before tonight’s game, weather permitting. The tarp is on the field, it’s raining and thunder is rumbling.
Showalter will participate in the ceremony.
“I’d like to give him a blown save tonight,” Showalter quipped.
Henry Urrutia is heading to Sarasota tonight while the Orioles fly to Toronto. Still no word on whether Urrutia and Steve Pearce will join the team in Boston.
Urrutia woke up this morning with neck stiffness, but Showalter said that’s not the reason Wilson Betemit is the designated hitter tonight.
Jason Hammel was supposed to fly to Toronto later today - again, weather permitting - before making Friday night’s start against the Blue Jays.
The Orioles rotation is set through Sunday. The club is off Monday, and Showalter will figure it out from there.
Bud Norris could jump back in after being skipped on Friday because of discomfort in his right elbow. He could go to the bullpen. He could remain shut down.
Norris isn’t expected to pick up a ball before Sunday. Showalter said Norris might be “physically better” working out of the bullpen, but again, no decision has been made. All we know for now is he’s shut down to allow the elbow to quiet down.
Twelve of the Orioles’ last 18 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, and they’ve gone 4-8 in that span.
With two more doubles by J.J. Hardy, the 2013 Orioles will become the fourth team in franchise history to have three or more players hit 25-plus doubles and 25-plus homers in the same season. Hardy has 23 doubles and 25 homers, while Adam Jones (32 doubles/31 homers) and Davis (40 doubles, 49 homers) have already reached that mark.