SALISBURY, Md. - Chris Davis completed his brief injury rehab assignment tonight with four at-bats with the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds of the South Atlantic League.
Serving as the designated hitter and batting second, Davis struck out swinging in the first inning, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the third inning, bounced to second base leading off the sixth and bounced to first base in the eighth.
Davis played first base Monday afternoon at high Single-A Frederick and went 1-for-4 with a double, walk, two strikeouts and a run scored.
The Orioles will have Davis join their workout Thursday afternoon at Camden Yards and activate him from the disabled list before Friday night’s series opener against the Cubs.
“I feel really good,” he said. “I think it was helpful to be hot and humid tonight. I was, not nervous, but I guess a little anxious DHing. Buck (Showalter) and I talked about it. After playing the field on Monday I felt fine and I kind of wanted to see what it was like having a little more time between at-bats.
“I felt really good. I felt like I was maybe pressing a little too hard a few times, but I wanted to see where I was at just swing-wise, what it felt like to turn and twist like that at game speed, so it felt good. Sweated a lot. But hopefully get going Friday.”
Davis thinks nine plate appearances are a sufficient amount.
“The at-bats are basically to just kind of see how you feel physically,” he said. “As far as seeing the ball and recognizing pitches, it’s going to take a little bit of time anyway. I think the more games I play, obviously, at the big league level, the better I’ll feel. There’s just a little bit of an in-between feel right now, but I think that’s just due to the time off.
“The biggest thing was really just getting in the game and seeing how I felt at game speed and how I responded the next day.”
Davis was batting tonight against Lexington Legends right-hander Jace Vines, 22, the Royals’ fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft out of Texas A&M. Vines was 8-4 with a 2.75 ERA in 17 games, including 12 starts.
The first two pitches thrown to Davis were taken for strikes. He fouled off two pitches and took one in the dirt before striking out. The double play came on a 1-0 count. He was down 1-2 before the bouncer in the sixth and he swung at the first pitch in the eighth.
Davis grabbed a bat and left the dugout during the top of the fifth inning to take some extra swings before his next plate appearance. Shorebirds hitting coach Buck Britton, brother of Orioles closer Zach Britton, joined him.
Given the chance to end his night after three at-bats, Davis chose to stick around and hit again in the eighth.
This is the first time that Davis appeared in a low Single-A game since 2006 with Spokane of the Northwest League. Tonight’s game drew an announced crowd of 5,467, far exceeding the usual Wednesday night total at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Fans cheered loudly for Davis each time he stepped to the plate.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I said the same thing at Frederick. Anytime you get to go to a minor league affiliate and play with guys you see in spring training, that you see at the complex but don’t really have a chance to get to know that much, it’s always a cool feeling to come in here and kind of be one of the guys.
“Obviously, the fans were awesome. I would have liked to have given them a little bit more to see, but I think keeping the big picture in mind, I accomplished what I was after as far as how I felt, how my body was able to rebound from at-bat to at-bat.”
Davis is batting .226/.320/.461 with seven doubles, a triple, 14 home runs and 26 RBIs in 61 games. He’s drawn 30 walks and struck out 95 times in 250 plate appearances.
Shorebirds right-hander Lucas Humpal gave up six runs and eight hits in the first three innings. The ninth-round pick in 2016 out of Texas State was 4-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) this season.
Preston Palmeiro had a sacrifice fly to left field in the fourth inning to reduce Lexington’s lead to 6-1. Rafael Palmeiro’s youngest son, a seventh-round pick last year out of North Carolina State, was batting .258/.327/.444 with 17 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs and 49 RBIs in 302 at-bats. He had 85 strikeouts in 80 games and fanned tonight in the second inning.