This time, Chris Davis spent a portion of his postgame interview not talking about his hot bat or making history, but rather a ground ball that he didn’t make the play on. It led to an unearned run for the Twins in the ninth tonight off Jim Johnson as they beat the Orioles 6-5.
“I went back and looked at it, and my glove was down, my head was down. The ball just went right through my legs,” Davis said. “It literally went right between my legs. Just one of those things. I’ll wear it on that one.”
He did drive in a run for the fifth game in a row, one shy of the O’s club record jointly held by Brooks Robinson and Mike Devereaux. And the team scored five more runs, bringing the season total to 34 through five games.
“Yeah, it’s big early on to swing the bats collectively as a team,” Davis said. “I kind of think the pitchers have the advantage the first couple of months when it’s cold and hitters are trying to get their rhythm and timing. But we’ve been swinging the bats well, getting runners on and scoring runs. The defense, the bullpen, that’s going to come together.”
For the first time this year, Davis did not homer, failing to become the first player ever to homer in each of the first five games.
“I wasn’t actually thinking I need to hit a homer,” said Davis, who is now batting .556 with four homers and 17 RBIs. “My mindset was more, drive in runs. Homers come and go, they come in bunches. On a cool night, the ball (Chris) Parmelee hit was absolutely murdered. It was really the ball I thought that was a no-doubter. There were a couple balls hit hard, the ball just wasn’t carrying. My goal was never to go up there and swing for the fences. It’s to do my job, simplify my approach and stay with it.”
Chris Tillman talked about his night and his first start of the year. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs with four walks and four strikeouts.
“I felt good throughout the game,” he said. “Physically I felt really good, mechanically I felt like I was fine. All game long, I was kind of yanking, yanking my fastball and my changeup. Made some good pitches with my changeup but I threw it to the wrong part of the plate.
“It’s tough, but I’ve got another one in five days. That’s the only way to look at it. The downtime felt like an eternity. I feel like I want to pitch tomorrow’s game.”
The pitching of T.J. McFarland in his Orioles and big league debut was a highlight tonight as he pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout, one-hit ball. He fanned five without a walk, looking very composed for a pitcher making his first big league appearance.
“I definitely was (nervous). I was kind of able to work through it and calm myself down and really just throw strikes,” he said.
McFarland talked about the feeling of running to the mound for the very first time as an Oriole and then facing Justin Morneau with two men on. He got him to fly out on one pitch.
“It was an incredible feeling. Nothing beats it,” McFarland said. “The adrenaline, the excitement, I really can’t even put into words. It really is just the best feeling you could ever feel. I don’t think I will ever forget that at-bat. First-pitch out, too, which is real nice. I’m not going to forget that out.”
Tillman is now 0-3 with an ERA of 6.06 in four career starts against the Twins.
The Twins snapped a five-game losing streak in Baltimore with their first win here since April 21, 2011.
The Orioles 1-5 hitters went 10-for-21 with two doubles and four RBIs, but their 6-9 hitters were just 1-for-16.
Nick Markakis went 4-for-5 with two doubles. This is the 17th time he had recorded four or more hits in a game and first since getting four against Seattle Aug. 7, 2012.