SAN DIEGO - It was an impressive way for the Orioles to end their second winning road trip of 2019. Chris Davis snapped an 0-for-18 slump with a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning and the Orioles beat San Diego 8-5 at Petco Park.
The Orioles were down 4-0 after three innings and scored three times in the fourth - two on Richie Martin’s single on an 0-2 pitch - to pull within 4-3. Down 5-3 in the seventh, a Renato Núñez two-run single tied the game, setting the stage for Davis in the eighth.
Davis had struck out three times today and was 0-for-16 with 14 strikeouts this road trip when he stood in versus San Diego lefty Matt Strahm. He drilled an 0-1 slider 417 feet to center to break a 5-5 tie. It was his eighth homer and first since July 5.
Trey Mancini’s two-run single provided the final margin. Out of the bullpen behind Tom Eshelman, who went the first our innings, Gabriel Ynoa, Miguel Castro and Shawn Armstrong combined to allow one unearned run in five innings.
“Obviously, he’s been struggling,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Davis. “For him to get a home run to give us the lead late, where we battled back, it’s a great feeling for him. The guys were real excited for him and I know that means a lot to him.”
Davis said it did.
“It means a ton. Every day I come in here and go to work. I know that there are number of guys in here that are rooting me on, cheering for me,” he said. “They want to see me succeed. I want to see them succeed. It’s a cool thing to be a part of. It really does feel like a group of guys that’s kind of a band of brothers or a family, even though we haven’t been together that long. We’re starting to understand what it takes to win at this level. It’s been fun.
“I think anytime you’re scuffling or going through a rough spot, you want the opportunity to come through in a big situation. I felt like I had a couple opportunities to cash in with a runners on base in big spot. Obviously, the home run came at a pretty crucial time.”
The victory completed a 5-4 road trip through Arizona, Anaheim and San Diego. The Orioles (36-71) have won four of six and eight of 13 and are 14-13 since June 28. They ended July 12-12 for their first non-losing month since going 17-12 in August 2017.
“I’ve been on good teams, playoff teams, that came to the West Coast and did not play well,” Hyde said. “For our guys to compete the way they did these last three series on the road, I think has been really impressive. I like the way our guys are sticking together. I think our dugout is unbelievable. I just think some of our young guys are getting better.”
San Diego hit two more homers in the first inning today, both off Eshelman, and four in all. With 16 homers in going 3-1 this year against the Orioles, the Padres set a major league record for most homers in a season series of four or fewer games.
Trade deadline day arrives tomorrow. Davis, a July 30, 2011 acquisition by the Orioles from Texas, was asked if he had any advice for his teammates involved in the rumor mill.
“Stay focused on your job,” he said. “If you let yourself go down that road, I think it will be a huge distraction, but I think in order to be fair to yourself and your teammates, you’ve got to continue to come in, focused on the task at hand.”
So the Orioles ended a successful trip. They’ve scored 83 runs their past 13 games. Now the trade deadline awaits on Wednesday, an off-day before the Orioles begin a 10-game homestand against Toronto on Thursday at Oriole Park.