MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Davis provided the Orioles offense a spark in the first inning of a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday with a two-run homer to straightaway center field — his third homer in his past 10 games — but he also reached a dubious mark in the same game.
While Davis opened his day with the home run, he ended it with a strikeout against reliever Trevor Hildenberger in his final at-bat in the eighth, swinging through a full-count changeup.
That strikeout was Davis’ 1,306 with the Orioles, passing Cal Ripken Jr. for the most in club history. It took Ripken 21 years to accumulate that many strikeouts; Davis has done it in parts of eight seasons with the Orioles.
“I heard [recently],” Davis said after Saturday’s game. “No, I wasn’t aware of it. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but it’s something that unfortunately is part of my game. It’s a big part of my game and always has been. With the home runs and the power, you also get the strikeouts and the swings and misses. If you play long enough, you’re going to swing and miss enough to apparently set some records. There’s really not much to say about that.”
Since the Orioles acquired Davis in a trade with the Texas Rangers on July 30, 2011, no major league hitter has struck out more than Davis’ 1,306 times over that 973-game span.
Davis has 104 strikeouts in 288 plate appearances this season.
He is just 10-for-57 in 15 games since returning from an eight-game hiatus, but he is getting more consistent hard contact. Davis’ seven RBIs over his past seven games are more than he had the entire month of April.
“Yeah, I’ve felt better since I came back,” Davis said. “Even the outs that I’m making are loud outs. They’re balls that I’m barreling up. Just don’t have a lot to show for it. But I’m going to continue to grind and try to work at-bats and continue to put swings on pitches.”