BOSTON — Former Orioles star and current front office executive Brady Anderson jokes that he began planning how to celebrate Chris Davis' 50th home run about three months ago after Davis hit his 30th homer of the season.
"He was going to meet me at home plate and probably carry me off the field," Davis said with a smile.
"At Camden [Yards], I might have," Anderson said.
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When Davis broke Anderson's single-season franchise home run record with his 51st in the Orioles' 3-2 win at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, Anderson was watching from the stands. And after the game, the Orioles' vice president of baseball operations was there to give Davis a congratulatory hug.
"I love it," Anderson said Wednesday. "Chris and I have been really close since he came here. … I feel like a part of it. Having our names mentioned together is thrilling, and actually seeing him do it, I think I have a little more appreciation for the fact that I did it. I think when you're doing it, I don't think you think it's that impressive.
"I know I was obviously having my best year, but I wasn't thinking, 'Wow this is amazing,'" Anderson added. "I never thought that. It seemed pretty normal. I found out in subsequent years that it wasn't normal. But watching Chris do it, you think about the consistency of which you need to hit home runs to get 50. Seeing him do that kind of reminded me of how consistent you need to be."
Anderson said his career and Davis' have paralleled each other to a degree. Both were top prospects — Anderson with the Boston Red Sox and Davis with the Texas Rangers — and both flourished after trade-deadline deals to the Orioles.
"Even how he viewed himself as a hitter, I think a lot of baseball views him as a guy who would hit .250, 30 homers, strike out a lot," Anderson said. "He's a really good hitter. I told him, 'Dude, I can see you contending for a batting title one year,' and he said, 'Exactly, so do I.' So the fact that he's been hitting around .300 all year, I'm as happy about that as anything. But that goes hand in hand. His home runs and his average, same as mine did."
O'Day rejoins Orioles
Right-handed reliever Darren O'Day jumped on a flight to Boston this morning and arrived at Fenway Park during batting practice.
O'Day, who received two injections in his right hand and wrist area to reduce nerve inflammation that had been causing numbness and tingling in his fingers, was evaluated Wednesday morning after a bullpen session on Tuesday.
"He said today he feels good, good enough to pitch," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Wednesday's game.
O'Day has made just two appearances over the past three weeks. Since Aug. 28, he's pitched three innings, his previous appearance coming Sept. 7 against the Chicago White Sox.
Instead of flying with the team to Toronto, O'Day went to Florida to see hand specialist Brian Schofield. He received the injections Friday, and the Orioles initially believed he could rejoin the team this Friday at Tampa Bay.
O'Day leads the team with a 2.28 ERA. He has also recorded 20 holds, tied for the team lead with right-hander Tommy Hunter, but he hasn't had one since Aug. 21.
Gonzalez in the mix for Saturday
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez's strained right groin improved dramatically overnight, and Gonzalez could be an option to start Saturday's game in against the Tampa Bay Rays, Showalter said.
"It's a lot better now," said Gonzalez, whose push off in his delivery was most affected by the injury. "I played catch [Tuesday]. I wrapped it. It felt good, a little sore but it felt good. Most importantly is throwing a bullpen [session] first, but if it feels good we will go from there. … I've been there before, so I know what I need to do to be ready."
Gonzalez — who was forced to leave Sunday's game in Toronto in the sixth inning — will throw a light bullpen session before Thursday's game. The club will then make a decision on who starts Saturday.
Bud Norris, who felt good after a bullpen session Tuesday, is another candidate for that start. Norris missed his past turn in the rotation with lingering elbow stiffness.
"He's getting there," Showalter said of Norris. "Even if I pitched Miggy or Bud, I have to have some early ammunition in case they have an early exit."
Showalter said that if both are healthy, the one who doesn't start could be available out of the bullpen.
"That would be a good problem to have," Showalter said.
Showalter said there are other pitchers who could start Saturday — Kevin Gausman, Josh Stinson, Steve Johnson, Zach Britton and Tsuyoshi Wada — but those options seem unlikely with the healthy of both Gonzalez and Norris improving.
Around the horn
Fans who place a non-refundable deposit for 2014 season-ticket plans before Thursday at 11:59 p.m. will receive the opportunity to purchase 2013 postseason tickets before the general public. Fans can place deposits on the team website (orioles.com/postseason) or by phone at (888) 848-BIRD. … In four games on this road trip heading into Wednesday night, Orioles pitchers had held opponents to an .050 batting average (1-for-20) with runners in scoring position, stranding 23 runners on base. … Manny Machado hit his majors-leading 51st double Wednesday, putting him on pace for 55 doubles this season. That would put him one shy of Brian Roberts' club record (56 in 2009).