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Orioles' Chris Davis doing all the right things as hot start continues

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

With every day that passes in the infancy of this Orioles season, the play of first baseman Chris Davis offers another encouraging sign that he’s on pace for a productive year.

Davis, the two-time major league home run leader who followed up each of those seasons with disappointing ones by his own standards, swatted his second homer of the year in Wednesday’s 12-5 bullying of the Boston Red Sox.

He has hit safely in all seven games this year, and heads to Toronto batting .385 (10-for-26) with four extra-base hits and a 1.141 OPS. Even with the realization that he’s barely a week into a six-month slog, Davis allowed for a moment of satisfaction after Wednesday’s win.

“It’s obviously still early, but every year you want to get off to a good start,” Davis said. “I think the biggest thing for me is I’m not going out there and trying to do too much. I felt good at the plate the last few games, and have had some return for that. I’m excited not only with where I’m at, but where the team is at.”

Without falling into the trap of equivocating Davis’ use of the opposite field to his overall success, he’s spraying the ball all over the park so far. He hit a wall-ball double to left field and a mammoth shot to right-center on Wednesday, and added a single to right field as well.

His team-high nine strikeouts in 29 plate appearances put him at a high pace for that category, but he seems to have expanded his approach now that his left hand is healthy again.

Combine that with the two games he won the team on the opening homestand with his error-saving scoops at first base, and it’s been as good a start to the year as Davis could have hoped.

His longtime friend Craig Gentry, who came up through the Texas Rangers system with Davis and is glad for the reunion they’re having this year, said it looks like Davis is at his best.

“It seems like he’s having a good time out there, not pressing and just going out there and just playing,” Gentry said. “I’ve played with him every day for quite a few years, and this is how he was back when I always played with him. It’s definitely a good sign.”

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