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In disappointing season, Orioles' Chris Davis reaches two milestones with one swing

It has been a difficult season for Orioles slugger Chris Davis, but the first baseman hit two milestones Friday night with one swing. With his sixth-inning solo shot, Davis picked up his 20th homer of the season and 150th of his career.

He was asked Saturday about whether No. 150 meant something to him.

“I think it's a good number. It's not real high. It's not low,” he said. “But I think it is just one of those things that you can look back at the body of work and really appreciate everything that has gone into it.”

Davis hit a major league-best 53 homers last season but has struggled much of this year. Entering Saturday's game, he was hitting .198 with 20 homers and 55 RBIs.

“I think it is a bright spot in a season that has been filled with a lot of struggle for me,” he said of the milestone. “But the fact that I'm still driving the ball out of the ballpark and still producing runs, although the average isn't there, it's nice to have something to look back on and be proud of.”

Entering Saturday, Davis had homered in three of his past four games. He now has 20 or more homers in three consecutive seasons.

“The season isn't over yet. People have asked me all year if this was a disappointing season, and I said way before it started [that] if I hit three home runs and hit .200 and we win the World Series, it is a successful year for me, because that's our ultimate goal,” Davis said. “Now, obviously, I might have to turn [things] around and make some adjustments, but that's our ultimate goal here, to win a World Series. And whatever I can do, obviously, that's what I want to do.”

Learning from legends

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he loved hearing stories from the 23 Orioles Hall of Famers at Friday night's 60th-anniversary celebration. Some tales were particularly informative for the manager.

Before Saturday's game, he recalled hearing about how former Orioles left-handers Mike Flanagan and Scott McGregor overcame slow deliveries: by raising their hands before their leg.

“They did it the same way,” Showalter said. “I'm not sure whether Scott gave it to Mike or Mike gave it to Scotty, but basically, they'll bring their hands up and then start their leg up, and if the guy would break [to second base], they'd just throw to first base. They'd bring it up, and if the guy didn't break, they'd just go to the plate. …I could never understand why they couldn't run them out of the ballpark.”

Showalter said he tried the move with a left-handed pitcher no longer in the organization, but it didn't work.

“We think we reinvent stuff,” Showalter said. “The guy we tried it with, it didn't work. He couldn't concentrate [on his motion] and see what the runner was doing.”

Jones fine after hit by pitch

Showalter said center fielder Adam Jones, who left Friday's game shortly after getting his on the left knee by a pitch, was back in the starting lineup Saturday.

Jones was hit by a pitch in the at-bat after he hit his 20th homer of the season. It was also Jones' 86th career homer at Camden Yards, passing Cal Ripken Jr. for sole possession of fourth place all time.

“He's banged up every night,” Showalter said. “His feet look like war zones. … He fouls a lot of balls off there. Him and Nick and J.J. and other guys, I'm amazed at what they do.”

Jones has played in all 116 games this season.

Around the horn

The Orioles entered Saturday 8-4 in interleague play this season, despite facing the toughest interleague schedule in the majors (.544 opponents' winning percentage). … Right fielder Nick Markakis leads all active major leaguers, and is fourth all time, with a .338 average in interleague play. … Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, a former Baltimore Sun reporter and columnist, wore a LUNGevity Foundation bowtie during Saturday's Orioles-Cardinals TV broadcast to honor Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow, who died of lung cancer in February. During her 4 1/2–year battle with the disease, Barlow worked closely with LUNGevity to help raise awareness and funds for lung cancer research. … The Single-A New York-Penn League selected short-season Single-A Aberdeen's Austin Anderson, Jay Gonzalez, and David Hess to the New York-Penn League All-Star Game roster. The game will be played Aug. 19 at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

eencina@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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