Chris Davis sounded like a guy who was not exactly pressing or worrying because he had not hit a homer in his last 10 games.
After his key homer tonight, a reporter asked him how happy he was to get back in the longball column.
“I’m so happy,” he said sarcastically. “I can go home and sleep tonight. Eat food again. I don’t have to wake up every three hours and cry.
“I was more excited about the two walks to be honest with you. Think it’s been awhile since I had two walks in a game.”
J.J. Hardy made it clear that Davis’ teammates were not concerned that he hadn’t homered since the first half.
“I don’t think any of us feel he’s on the schneid,” Hardy said. “He’s a great hitter. With 38 homers and almost 100 RBIs, he has almost two months left, he set the standard so high.”
Hardy’s two-run single in the fourth pulled the O’s within 3-2 and Davis gave them the lead with that longball two innings later. Hardy entered tonight 3-for-22 over his previous six games.
“A ground ball got through,” Hardy said of the two-run single. “Turned out to be a big hit. He was throwing some nasty stuff up there.”
Hardy has 16 multi-RBI games, most among AL shortstops.
Davis talked further about his homer and getting on base three times tonight.
“The last few games, I have felt good at the plate,” he said. “But I’ve just been way too aggressive and way too aggressive on balls out of the zone. My goal today was to be more patient.
“It was big (the homer) because of when it happened. Anytime your pitcher is out there battling the way (Wei-Yin) Chen was, you want to give him a boost. Those are the kind of games if you can get the lead, most of the time you have a chance to win with our bullpen. The timing of it felt good.”
Chen went 7 1/3 innings to improve to 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA. In four home starts this year, he is 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA.
But Chen was asked about the play in the third inning when Houston rookie Jonathan Villar stole home.
“That was embarrassing and a lesson I need to learn,” Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. “I looked down and I had no clue he was going to home.”
Chen threw a career-high 119 pitches tonight.
“To be honest with you, I’m a little tired right now,” he said. “This was the first time I threw that many in the U.S., but I felt strong and good today. I really wanted to pitch the eighth or ninth, but unfortunately I had to give it to the bullpen guys.”