Chris Davis is a streaky hitter. We all know that. When he’s seeing the ball well, he can take over a game with his bat. When he’s slumping, he leaves you wondering how many holes he has in his bat.
Then there are nights like Friday, when Davis made Camden Yards into his own personal launching pad, becoming the 19th player in franchise history to hit three homers in a game.
He peppered the Oriole Park stands with baseballs, one pulled to right onto Eutaw Street, his second into the right-center field stands and his last sliced the opposite way to left field.
"I feel good at the plate right now,” Davis said. “I feel really comfortable. Obviously, let the ball travel, be able to drive the ball to all fields. It's a good sign. We need everybody we can. We can get rolling right now towards the end of the season. These games are really important."
Davis’ three-homer, four-RBI night in the Orioles’ 6-4 win over the Blue Jays not only made history, but it was a reward to Orioles manager Buck Showalter for sticking with Davis through a season full of highs and lows.
Davis had one week-long span in June when he went hitless over seven games – 27 at-bats – and his batting average fell 32 points. Even on the afternoon of Davis’ memorable relief win at Fenway Park on May 6, Davis was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts.
When he was swinging poorly, Showalter let him keep swinging.
“Buck has put me in the lineup on nights that I didn't think I should be in the lineup after having some horrendous games, and I really appreciate that,” Davis said. “I think that's big for a young player knowing that you're going to be in the lineup. You may strike out four times and feel something in your fourth at-bat that felt good and if it can't carry over into the next game, that's really frustrating.
"I mean you just have to keep all that stuff in perspective,” Davis added. “This is a game of failure. You know you're going to go out there and you're going to have some really bad nights, but the thing about it is you keep your head up and you keep going."
And now he’s going through one of those Chris Davis offensive tears. He has five homers in his last five games. He hit homers in back-to-back games in Detroit, both critical to the Orioles’ series win at Comerica Park. And his three-homer game Friday night electrified a ballpark that suddenly seems home to a pennant race -- a pennant race in which the Orioles need Chris Davis to be a huge piece.
“Chris has been a contributor,” Showalter said. “His contact-to-damage ratio is always good and I know he gets frustrated some, but he hasn't given in all year. He's not one of those guys who just says, 'Well, it's just something that guys go through.' If you had that type of power, you would really be frustrated when you weren't making the contact he's capable of.
“But he's certainly got people's attention. He's been a big part of what we're trying to do here."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun