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Chris Davis' power display against Detroit was one to remember

By Eduardo A. Encina

The Baltimore Sun

7:30 AM EDT, June 20, 2013

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DETROIT -- In this week’s battle between the two leading home run hitters in the majors, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis got the best of Tigers slugger and reigning Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera.

Davis outhomered Cabrera 3-1 in the Orioles’ three-game series in Detrot and, more importantly, the Orioles took two of three from the Tigers at Comerica Park, where the Tigers entered the week with a 22-10 record at home. Their .688 winning percentage here was the best home mark in the majors.

Davis’ two-homer, five-RBI effort in Wednesday's 13-3 win was really a clinic in run production. On his first homer, Davis stayed back on a two-seamer from Rick Porcello that was on the outer half of the plate and got the end of barrel of his bat on the ball and lifted it for an opposite-field homer.

“I was actually looking at a lot of video before the game of balls I hit the other way, staying on balls a little bit better,” Davis said. “I feel like I’ve had some pitches the last few games to drive the other way, and I’ve kind of pulled off of them. That’s something I was kind of working on before the game. He left it out over the plate and I didn’t swing real hard, I just barreled it up and was able to get it over the first wall.”

It definitely seems that Davis is continuing to become comfortable sitting back on pitches and taking them to left field.

On Davis’ second homer, which came against struggling reliever Jose Valverde in the ninth, he just teed off on a 2-2 splitter that was low but found too much of the plate.

“Split right into my barrel,” Davis said. “The first one he threw me was one of the better ones I’ve seen from him and the one away was good location, the last one was a good pitch, it just caught too much of the plate.”

Even on Davis’ RBI ground-rule double in the seventh, he pounced on an 0-1 hanging breaking ball over the inside part of the plate and blasted it for a line drive that one-hopped into the right-field stands.

Over his past 39 games, Davis is hitting .357 with 30 extra-base hits (12 doubles, 17 homers), 31 runs and 35 RBIs. And against the Tigers, he’s been remarkable. In his last eight games against Detroit, Davis is hitting .394 (13-for-33) with two doubles, six homers, eight runs and 12 RBIs.

Now we will see how Davis does at the Rogers Centre, where he was 6-for-14 with three doubles and two homers and a .429/.556/1.071 batting line on the Orioles first trip to Toronto last month.