The beleaguered first baseman notched his first hit of the season in the first inning and was one of five Orioles with a multihit game Saturday as they broke out against former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello. The resulting 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on a beautiful Fenway Park afternoon snapped the Orioles’ four-game losing streak.
Davis' first-inning single with the bases loaded gave the Orioles (6-9) a 2-0 lead and broke a 54-at-bat stretch without a hit dating to 2018. It ended a record-setting streak in a meaningful way for an offense that has struggled to get going early in games this week.
“Up and down the order, that's a grind-an-at-bat mentality,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It's a pass-the-baton mentality. That's what good teams have. It's unselfish at-bats, it's egoless, and you're just trying to get the next guy up by seeing pitches and being able to move the ball with two strikes and situational hit — it's contagious, so to see how our at-bats were today, it's a really good sign. We've been grinding our at-bats. ... We got a lot of good results today.”
The Orioles loaded the bases again in the second but didn't score. After Andrew Cashner allowed a two-run home run to No. 9 hitter Christian Vázquez in the third, the Orioles started scoring in bunches. Davis doubled with two on and nobody out in the fifth inning for his second hit of the game and his third RBI, then added a fourth RBI on a forceout to cap a four-run sixth.
With two more runs in the seventh, the Orioles made their margin comfortable for their bullpen. Their season high was 12 runs in Monday's win over the Oakland Athletics, coincidentally the previous time Cashner pitched. That's what happens when so many players contribute the way they did Saturday.
Jonathan Villar reached base four times on two walks and two singles, and scored twice. His single to open the ninth inning made it six straight innings in which the Orioles had the leadoff man on.
Trey Mancini had a double, a single and scored twice. Dwight Smith Jr. walked three times and scored twice, while Renato Núñez and Rio Ruiz had two singles apiece.
Cashner cools down Boston
Cashner didn't win his third game until July 27 last season, but needed only until his fourth start of 2019 to accomplish that with five-plus innings of three-hit, three-run ball against the Red Sox on Saturday.
“I just thought he threw strikes,” Hyde said. “He actually got stronger in the third, fourth, fifth. He's still throwing 95, touching 96 at times. He was throwing strikes, and with a lead, throwing strikes and making them beat you with the bat was pivotal. He did a great job of being aggressive.”
The third inning, in which he allowed the home run to Vázquez, was the anomaly on the day, though it made for 15 games in a row in which the Orioles allowed a home run, one shy of the major league record.
“I thought I got away with a couple mistakes early, but coming out swinging the bats, definitely want the home run back,” Cashner said. “If I finish that curveball, I think it's an out.”
He'd needed 28 pitches for two hitless innings to start the game, then had a laborious 30-pitch third inning. He needed 18 pitches to get through the next two innings before Boston turned over their lineup a third time and chased him with a double and a single to start the sixth.
His third run scored when Jimmy Yacabonis cleaned up a two-on, no-out mess with a double play.
Easier than usual
Yacabonis allowed two runs on a double by Vázquez in the seventh, and Tanner Scott had a tense time finishing that inning off.
But after he retired the first batter of the eighth and allowed a one-out single, Mychal Givens came on in his most traditional deployment of the season to strike out two in the eighth and two more in a scoreless ninth.
“Five outs,” Hyde said. “Big outs. ... I'm trying to use Mike in the spot where we need him the most. It could be a stopper, it could be a closer. The game is on the line, I want Mike Givens in the game. Today, we needed five outs from him, and he did an amazing job — five quick outs, didn't throw many pitches. Fantastic.”