Of course, after a long extra-innings game with the Boston Red Sox, during an interview with Chris Davis, someone had to ask him if he thought he’d get on the mound tonight.
“Yeah, I thought about it,” Davis said. “Once it gets late in extra innings, you start going through all the scenarios. Who we have on the bench, whose DHing, who would play first if I had to go in. Hopefully that is something I’ll never have to do again and I can go ride off into the sunset.
“I’m not going to say I wouldn’t lobby for it. My arm feels like it’s in a little bit better shape this year. Kind of want to see if I can get my velocity up,” he said. That one drew some laughs.
He is the major league home run leader, but tonight he ended this game in the last of the 13th with a bloop single.
“Honestly I took a few swings late in the game where I was just swinging way too hard, trying to win it with one swing instead of just trying to put the ball in play,” he said. “Good things happen when you simplify it.
“You want to win those games, especially when you are using all your guys and staying close. They threw everybody they had at us and we did the same with them. It’s huge to get that win and start the series with a win.
“Games within the division are always big. We are chasing Boston, as everyone is right now. Any time we have a four-game set and get the first one, it is huge for us.”
Davis went 2-for-6 tonight. In his last seven games against Boston, he is 9-for-24 with five homers and nine RBIs. Davis is now batting .384 over his last 21 games of 2013.
Kevin Gausman didn’t get his first major league win tonight, but he pitched well, allowing two runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings.
“I felt good. Kind of did a lot of looking at video and thinking about my approach. I think I did a pretty good job of going at some guys and moving their feet and making sure they weren’t too comfortable in the box. For me, that was more important than anything.”
Did he think at all of the importance of this series and trying to get the O’s to off to a good start on the mound?
“Yeah, definitely. I was trying to put a quality start and save some guys in the bullpen. That didn’t really happen but just tried to go with my game plan going into the game.”
Gausman now has a 2.38 ERA in two home starts compared to a 12.15 ERA on the road.
After tonight’s game, the Orioles announced they have optioned Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk. A corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow as the club needs to add a pitcher for a tired bullpen after this 13-inning contest.
Maybe the most excited player in the O’s clubhouse tonight was T.J. McFarland who pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 13th and then picked up his first major league win when the O’s won it in the bottom of the inning.
“It’s a great feeling, so exciting. Man we played one heckuva ballgame tonight. Huge clutch hit by Chris Davis at the end to give us the W. What a feeling when it ended. I wanted to keep it rolling so we could win the game. Just threw strikes and let the defense help me out,” McFarland said.