Chris Davis on being in first place, plus O’s prospects square off in Futures Game

The Orioles will head into the All-Star break in first place and will enjoy seeing their name atop the American League East standings at least for the next few days.

First baseman Chris Davis said that’s nice, but it doesn’t mean too much. At least not yet.

“Means we’re in first place,” Davis said. “I don’t think you can read too much into it. We still have a lot of baseball left to play. Down the stretch, that is where the games are the toughest and they mean the most. For whatever reason, every year this division is always close coming down to the end. We just need to continue to do the things we’ve done to make us successful.”

At the All-Star break in 2013, the Orioles had a record of 53-43 and they were in third place, 4 1/2 games out. A win tonight here at 8:05 p.m. against the Yankees and they would be 10 games over the .500 mark again at 52-42.

The Orioles have a chance to take a four-game lead atop the division with a win tonight. Toronto lost 3-0 this afternoon to Tampa Bay as David Price pitched eight scoreless innings to drop the Blue Jays’ record to 49-47.

Davis is trying to get his bat going. He is now batting just .197 for the season after going 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts over his last three games.

In 10 games this month, Davis is batting .128 with 19 strikeouts in 39 at-bats. He is just 12-for-97 (.124) over his last 27 games since June 12 with four homers and 15 RBIs.

The All-Star Futures Game is under way at Target Field in Minneapolis, the site of Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Double-A Bowie outfielder Dariel Alvarez is 0-for-1 in the game. He grounded out to shortstop on a 1-0 pitch in the top of the second. He faced Toronto left-handed pitching prospect Daniel Norris. Alvarez started in right field, batting sixth for the World Team.

Right-hander Hunter Harvey of the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds is the other Orioles representative in that game. He is scheduled to pitch the fourth inning of the game for Team USA. The game is scoreless in the second inning.

Harvey faces Alvarez: Harvey pitched a scoreless fourth inning today for Team USA. With two on and two outs, he faced Alvarez in an all-Orioles matchup and got him to ground out on a 3-1 pitch.

Harvey started his inning with back-to-back strikeouts of Francisco Lindor and Jose Peraza. Twins prospect Kennys Vargas then doubled to right and Harvey walked Steven Moya to set up the matchup with Alvarez.

Harvey got Alvarez out to finish with a scoreless inning on one hit with two strikeouts. He threw 22 pitches, 11 for strikes, and was sitting at 92 and 93 mph with his fastball.

Alvarez is now 0-for-2 today for the World Team with two ground outs. Alvarez and Harvey are both now out of the game.

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