He was an unlikely homer hitter, but Alexi Casilla put one big swing on the ball in the last of the seventh tonight for the Orioles. His three-run homer broke the 3-3 tie and sent the team to a 6-3 win over Cleveland.
Casilla asked to use an interpreter for the postgame interview and O’s coach Einar Diaz helped out.
“I felt great after I hit the home run,” Casilla said. “After we lost four games in a row, the team had it coming. Wanted to do something for the team.
“I struck out twice but was seeing the ball good. (Justin) Masterson was throwing the ball really good. But I was seeing the ball good and looking for one pitch to hit.”
Casilla’s last home run had also come against Masterson last Aug. 8 when he was with Minnesota. He hasn’t been getting much playing time, so that swing was big for him.
“This feels really good to help the team win,” he said.
Casilla has just 12 big league homers and Masterson is the only pitcher he has more than one against.
“That was awesome,” Chris Davis said of Casilla’s homer. “Everyone was pulling for him right there, hoping he’d get a base hit. Then he does that and provided a jolt of adrenaline for everyone. He’s a guy that works hard and had some issues with his finger and untimely injuries, but it was good to see him hit the ball out of the yard.”
Davis said it was also big for Chris Tillman to regroup after a shaky start and keep Cleveland off the board in the sixth and seventh after falling behind 3-1.
“It was kind of a gut check for him going into the fifth inning. He stayed with it and kept battling and gave us a chance to win,” Davis said.
“Last year, that outing in Seattle was for me the first time where I saw how dominant he could be. He’s 9-2. That is something to be proud of.”
Davis had tied the game 3-3 with his 28th homer in the last of the seventh on the first pitch of the at-bat versus Masterson.
“In that situation, I don’t think anyone is trying to hit the ball out of the park as dominant as he was,” Davis said. “The biggest thing was trying to get a pitch up and over the plate with the movement he had. I was actually trying to go the other way and got out in front of it a bit. It was big there to tie the game and then Alexi put together a huge swing.”
Over his last 44 games, Davis is batting .349 with 14 doubles, 19 homers and 41 RBIs. He now has 52 extra-base hits and is on a pace to get 107, which would shatter Brady Anderson’s team record of 92 in 1996.