Pitch well enough and hope for the home run — because no one in the sport is better at hitting baseballs a long way.
“We're confident [that] if we need a big hit, we've got guys that can drive the ball out of the ballpark,” Davis said. “Really, one through nine, you've got to worry about the home run, especially playing in this ballpark. But it's not something [where] we're consciously going up there [and] trying to hit home runs.”
The Orioles, who lead the majors with 146 longballs, were actually outhomered by the Mariners (50-59), who hit four Friday — but three were solo shots.
“The ball was flying, and they're a really good hitting team,” McLouth said. “They can do some damage at the plate. We shut them down when we needed to and scored enough to win.”
The third-place Orioles (61-49) moved to 4 ½ games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East and have regained the second AL wild-card spot after the Cleveland Indians' 10-0 loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday.
Playing before an announced 25,947 at Camden Yards — which seemed as thrilled by the power display as they were with a seagull that glided around the park in the eighth inning and eventually flew beyond the center field wall to freedom — the Orioles again showed how important it was to go deep.
They are 50-35 when they hit a home run and 11-14 when they don't. And they are 17-2 in games in which they've bashed at least three homers.
And each one held some significance Friday.
McLouth's sixth-inning grand slam against reliever Brandon Maurer that gave the Orioles some needed breathing room was the 95th home run of his career and his first with the bases loaded.
“It's about time,” McLouth joked. “Guys were telling me congratulations and it was [bench coach John Russell] that said it was about time. He was right on with that one.”
Davis' third-inning, 442-foot blast made him the fifth player in club history to reach 40 homers in a season, joining Brady Anderson, Frank Robinson, Jim Gentile and Rafael Palmeiro. It took Davis 110 games to get to 40; Robinson had been the quickest previously, needing 125 games in 1966.
“Notice the first three you called by their first name and everybody knew who you were talking about. Maybe one day they'll say 'Chris' and we'll know who you're talking about,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It's one of those things you reflect back on when the season is over. ... He's got a lot of good baseball ahead of him.”
Davis' homer became the 72nd in stadium history to land on Eutaw Street behind the right-field flag court and the sixth this season. He's done it four times in his career but that was his first this year.
The Orioles' other homer almost wasn't. And it was hit by a guy who almost didn't start.
Second baseman Ryan Flaherty was in the starting lineup because Brian Roberts' wife was in labor and Roberts was placed on the paternity list.
“Someone said today around 4 [p.m.] that his wife is in the hospital,” Flaherty said. “So, yeah, [the start] kind of caught me surprise.”
Making just his third start since July 1, Flaherty hit a ball in the fourth against Seattle starter Aaron Harang (5-10) that just cleared the right-field scoreboard. It was initially ruled a double, but after a replay review by the umpires, the call was changed to a homer, Flaherty's seventh of the season.