TORONTO – Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn’t like to draw attention to any of the tweaks that he makes to the lineup.
But when he dropped Chris Davis to the No. 7 spot -- the lowest the first baseman has hit since 2012 -- for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, it raised some eyebrows.
Showalter said the move had more to do with getting Delmon Young -- a career .396 hitter against Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle heading into Tuesday -- into the cleanup spot.
And it worked for everyone.
Young was 2-for-2 with an RBI single and a run scored against Buehrle on the night while providing protection for No. 3 hitter Adam Jones, who was 2-for-4 in the game. With the two hits, Young is now batting .420 (21-for-50) with four home runs and nine RBIs in his career against Buehrle.
“I don’t think Chris [pays] as much attention to it,” Showalter said. "The order doesn’t mean to [the players] what it means to everybody else. And I understand that it’s newsworthy when it’s a break from the norm. I just had a good feeling tonight because I knew Delmon has had a lot of at-bats for the situation we were in tonight, and it worked out for us tonight, and he did a good job of protecting Jonesy.”
Meanwhile, Davis hit his first home run since July 25 with a rocket solo blast off Toronto reliever Aaron Sanchez, one of three homers by the Orioles in the game.
Davis has had great success against the Blue Jays and in Toronto. His 23 career homers against the Blue Jays are the most he has hit against any opponent, and he is a career .346 hitter in 29 career games at the Rogers Centre. He has 20 homers against the Blue Jays since the beginning of the 2012 season.
Davis, who also had success against Buehrle (6-for-19, two home runs, four RBIs) heading into Tuesday's game, took the move in stride.
“I think Buck was just trying to mix it up,” Davis said. “Delmon is obviously swinging a really hot bat and has been all year, and you’re putting him in a position to drive in some runs up in the order. But with this lineup, it really doesn’t matter really where you hit. A lot of times you’re going to come up with guys on.
"It doesn’t change the way guys pitch me, unfortunately. I wish I could sit in the nine hole and know what I was going to get every day. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the seven hole, three hole or the leadoff spot, they’re going to pitch me the same way.”
* After his third straight game with a homer, catcher Caleb Joseph joked that his newfound power surge was rooted in some new bats he received.
But Joseph then said that some adjustments that he made at the plate have started to pay off.
“I’ve just been working on some mechanical things, and they’re slowly starting to show their head in terms of results," Joseph said. "It’s one of those things. You start getting more and more comfortable with the more at-bats you get.
"You’re starting to face people multiple times because remember, the first time up, I’m seeing some of these guys the first time ever. You slowly start to get more comfortable the more you face these guys. It feels good, and I’m glad I could help the team come out on top tonight.”
Over his last 10 games, Joseph is 12-for-35 (.343) with three homers, three doubles, five RBIs and three runs.
* Following his 2-for-5 night Tuesday, Nick Markakis recorded his 43rd multihit game of the season. It was also his 426th career multihit game, tying him with Brady Anderson on the Orioles’ all-time list.
* Jonathan Schoop’s homer off Buehrle on Tuesday was his first of the season against a left-handed pitcher. Also, all nine of his homers have come on the road.
* The Orioles are now 19-8 over their last 27 road games. Over that span, they have a 3.15 ERA.
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