“It was definitely a ball,” Davis said of the 0-2 pitch from Wade Davis. “It might have gone to the backstop if I didn’t hit it, but in all seriousness, the first pitch he threw me was a good pitch to get at least one run in. I fouled it off and I was mad at myself for almost giving an at bat away there when we really needed it.
“He threw a pitch up in the zone and I got the barrel to it. It was just one of those things where I was trying to be too aggressive early in the at bat and it actually played into my favor later.”
It was Davis’ second homer as an Oriole and ended a 14-game homerless stretch for him as the Orioles beat Tampa Bay 6-2 Wednesday night.
“For me a big thing coming off the DL with my shoulder is to drive the ball the other way (to left field). That was something I wasn’t doing when I was first traded over here. It was definitely good to do that to prove to myself that my shoulder is healthy.”
Davis knows the Orioles, by taking two of three, disrupted some of Tampa Bay’s momentum as they try to chase Boston in the wild card race.
“A couple of their guys were like ‘you know you’re out of it, right.’ We didn’t want to lay down for them and we want to finish strong. There is a sense of pride to compete and make it tough on them,” Davis said.
Matt Wieters gave the Orioles some insurance in the win with his two-run homer in the last of the eighth. It was Wieters’ third homer in three games and No. 20 on the year. Wieters became the fourth Oriole with 20 or more homers.
“It’s nice. It’s a good feeling to get to 20. Especially for the first time in my career. It’s nice to finish the season strong. That means the work you put in during the offseason has paid off to be able to stay healthy and keep grinding through September,” Wieters said.
Jeremy Guthrie improved to 8-17 with an ERA of 4.22 with the win. With probably just two starts remaining, Guthrie is now unlikely to finish the season with 20 losses.
He said he has not been thinking about that possibility.
“No, it hasn’t factored in the whole season for me. Just go out there and try to do the best you can. If that was factored into anyone’s mind, you’d probably manage the game different. But I don’t think that is the case with anyone here,” Guthrie said.
He gave up just three hits and two runs over seven innings and became just the 11th player in Orioles’ history to start 30 or more games for four seasons.
“The fastball command was there and we mixed in a good amount of changeups. I had a good feel for that pitch tonight and threw the curveball for strikes. So we had a few things we could go to,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie said his offspeed pitches were a key in his recording 10 strikeouts to tie his career high. That is the most strikeouts by an O’s starter this year and the most since Guthrie fanned 10 Tigers on May 30, 2009.
“I think the changeup was important (in getting strikeouts). I fell behind a few guys and was able to utilize it. That was probably a pitch that helped me. If you keep putting fastballs in there against a good hitting team like this they will eventually put a good swing on it,” he said after his 112-pitch outing.