BOSTON — When you go through your entire baseball life knowing you're just one swing away from a hot streak starting, you tend to remember those swings when things turn your way.
For Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who entered Tuesday's game with a streak of five straight games with a home run, that swing came early in last Tuesday's win over the Kansas City Royals, which was probably more memorable for the on-field fight between Manny Machado and Yordano Ventura that Davis sprinted to join than it was for the home runs that followed it.
"I'd probably say the first couple of at-bats off Ventura the first night [of the streak], that's kind of when I felt like I was starting to really attack the baseball and not just go up there and try to put something in play, but actually go up there with a plan and approach and try to execute it," Davis said.
He homered in his first at-bat after Ventura left the game, sat Wednesday to rest for the first time this season, then homered in each of the four games in Toronto.
"I think you start to feel certain things," Davis said. "You start to get a little more comfortable in the box, and just like I said at the beginning of the season, I think when you're kind of looking for that feel, you still go up there and try to have quality at-bats. You understand the guys around you are going to pick you up while you're scuffling, and you try to do everything you can to try to get it going. That's really all I've been doing. There's no secret. There's no special technique or form. It's just going out there and taking pride in your job."
Davis' streak of home runs has him up to 16 home runs and 39 RBIs on the season. He's batting .228/.350/.498, and won American League Player of the Week for his efforts.
Manager Buck Showalter said it was no surprise that Davis heated up in Toronto, where he has 16 home runs since 2012, and that Davis had still been been contributing even when he wasn't hitting for power. Davis had just two home runs over 24 games from May 12 through June 6.
"He stretches it out," Showalter said. "You know, the thing through thick and thin is Chris has walked, and he's played Gold Glove first base. If there's a better first baseman in our league, I'd like to see. He's had a great year at first. He's impacted our team every night, regardless of whether he's hit balls out of the park or not."
Showalter also pointed out that Davis is already ahead of the pace that saw him end 2015 with a league-leading 47 home runs. Through 61 games last season, Davis was batting .229/.319/.467 with 13 home runs.
"So, he's having a productive year," Showalter said.
To Davis, the lean times were something he knew how to get through. He said the day off Wednesday to rest his ailing left thumb helped a little, but fell back on the mantra that everyone in the clubhouse is dealing with injuries, and will struggle. Now is his turn to pick them up.
"It's just one of those things where as a veteran player, you understand you're going to be hot sometimes, you're going to be scuffling other times," Davis said. "You just continue to go out there and grind and do everything you can to get that feeling. Every guy in this clubhouse is expecting the most out of their talent, and they do everything they can to perform. I think that's the way it should be."
Machado appeal still looming: There's no date set for the appeal of Machado's four-game suspension for last week's fight against the Kansas City Royals, Showalter said.
"I've talked to [executive vice president Dan Duquette] about it, and he still thinks that there will be some idea of where the hearing is by the end of this road trip," Showalter said. "They'll let us know. There's a little more to it than that, but I think we won't know for sure when it is until the end of this road trip. … We were thinking it would happen at the end of the week.
Around the horn: Showalter said reliever Darren O'Day (right hamstring strain) is "progressing little by little." … Catcher Caleb Joseph (testicular injury) has an exam tomorrow with doctors, and is with Double-A Bowie to throw and take batting practice. Showalter said Joseph may be activated there on a rehab assignment if the appointment goes well.