BOSTON - Orioles first baseman Chris Davis walked in his first at-bat today. Continue to breathe normally.
That’s 11 walks for Davis in 18 games. He’s now tied his record by reaching base in 17 consecutive games. But he didn’t swipe a bag as promised.
Maybe next time.
Davis contributed an RBI single in the third to increase the Orioles’ lead to 3-0. They went on to score three more runs, sending nine batters to the plate and bringing a chorus of boos from the Fenway Park faithful who are no longer in the Patriots’ Day spirit.
More on that later.
Players were joking about being in the clubhouse at such an early hour. Manager Buck Showalter claimed that he didn’t get to bed until after 4 a.m. and was up by 6.
How will the team respond to morning baseball?
“It’s such uncharted territory for everybody,” Showalter said. “Ask me after the game. I just hope that we’re both operating on the same thing, except they slept in their bed.
“The only thing I ever worry about is the quality of (play). We’re all trying to deliver a certain level of play each day. Some are more challenging than others.
“I don’t have to play. Special challenges? We sent (Wei-Yin) Chen home before the fifth last night instead of after the fifth. I started to send (Steve) Clevenger with him. I was kidding Stevie in the dugout, ‘I’m going to send you with him.’ It’s a different clock than you ever have. It’s even different than spring. This is the epitome of cold jock, so we’re warming up the jocks.”
Interpret that one any way you want.
As one fan on Twitter pointed out, maybe those cold jocks put a pep in the Orioles’ step today. They collected six runs and seven hits in the third.
Steve Lombardozzi and David Lough opened the top of the inning with singles. Lough is now 6-for-38 this season.
Nick Markakis, Nelson Cruz and Davis followed with RBI singles. Markakis is now 6-for-39 lifetime versus Boston starter Clay Buchholz. Nine of Cruz’s 13 RBIs have come against the Red Sox. Davis has nine RBIs this season.
Cruz scored on Adam Jones’ fielder’s choice grounder, Jones scored on Clevenger’s double and Clevenger scored on Jonathan Schoop’s single to force Buchholz out of the game.
Buchholz slept at Fenway last night. Apparently, he never woke up.
The temperature at first pitch was 55 degrees. Much better.
The Orioles don’t savor their visits to Toronto, but they get a climate-controlled environment at Rogers Centre. They must be looking forward to it.
“Of course we are,” Showalter said. “You’d like to get on some type of routine where weekends are day games and weekdays are night games. We all know why it’s happened. We don’t have any say-so over start times on the road and shouldn’t. It’s their gig, and they say we play, we play. I think you’ll hear less complaining about it in our locker room than any place you go. Certainly, everybody has their private thoughts about it.
“We know why. This has something to do with the Marathon. It’s very important to our country, not just Boston. We played last night because ESPN wanted to televise the Red Sox game and we happened to be playing them. ESPN is very good to Major League Baseball. We get it.
“People who complain about it the most are people who are at every game - players, coaches, managers, umpire and media. People that come to this game at 11 and who came last night couldn’t care less about it, so why talk about it?”
Update: Chen took a one-hit shutout into the fifth and allowed three runs to reduce the lead to 6-3.
It all started with Xander Bogaerts’ leadoff walk. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia had RBI doubles sandwiched around Brock Holt’s sacrifice fly.
Chen’s pitch count rose to 93. Josh Stinson was warming in the bullpen.
Davis drew another walk in the top of the fifth inning, giving him 12 this season.
Lombardozzi has singled twice today.