ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The replay system hasn't been kind to the Orioles over the past three weeks as four of the five calls the club has challenged have not been overturned.
The Orioles' luck started to change in the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, when first baseman Chris Davis was awarded a grand slam following a crew-chief review on a ball that was initially called a double down the left-field line.
Davis’ third career grand slam gave the Orioles a 5-0 lead.
With the Orioles already leading 1-0 on after a wild pitch by the Rays' Erik Bedard that allowed Jonathan Schoop to score from third base, Davis sent a line drive down the left-field line. Rays left fielder David DeJesus crashed into the wall while chasing the ball, which initially appeared to hit off the wall.
But after manager Buck Showalter asked for a review -- he didn’t need to use a challenge -- the umpires overturned the call after video showed the ball hit off the left-field foul pole.
Davis waited at second base until home plate umpire Ron Kulpa gave the home run sign after a review of 1 minute, 18 seconds, and then he finished circling the bases.
Interestingly, the Rays lowered a portion of the outfield fence down the left-field line several years ago, and that’s where Evan Longoria hit his home run in the final game of the regular season in 2011 to help the Rays make the playoffs. Tampa Bay also received help from the Orioles, who beat the Red Sox that night to knock Boston out of playoff contention.
Davis had been scuffling in recent days, going 4-for-32 over his last nine games heading into Tuesday night.