BALTIMORE – The game already lost, Chris Davis asked Buck Showalter to remain in Tuesday night’s game. The Orioles trailed by 11, Davis was slumping, and the team was playing horribly.
Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Matt Wieters were out of the game, but Davis wanted to stay in.
Davis hit a long two-run home run, and Showalter took note.
A night later, the Orioles needed Davis’ power, and he delivered twice, with a two-run home run that initially tied the game, and a long home run in the 11th to win it.
The badly needed home run, measured by ESPN at 459 feet, gave the Orioles a 7-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays before 15,963 at Oriole Park on Wednesday night.
“I was so tired at that point that I was just really happy. I really didn’t watch it. At that point in the game I was taking whatever I could get. Someone said it almost hit the scoreboard. I don’t know about all that. I didn’t see where it landed,” Davis said.
Davis took three balls off Matt Andriese (3-5), and then swung. Three home runs in two days. He was glad he asked to stay in the Tuesday night debacle.
“I didn’t like the way things were going. I didn’t like the way I was playing. I just wanted to try to get something started and continue to play hard, had a good at-bat. There may have been some carryover, but I think more than anything it’s just an attitude. It’s not over. Enough’s enough and just trying to turn it around,” Davis said.
Showalter felt Davis remaining in the game on Tuesday was vital.
“Him playing the last inning or two last night might have been the key to tonight and the rest of our season. Those are the little things that go unnoticed,” Showalter said.
“You don't just dial it up and say, 'OK, it's my time. Here we go.' It just doesn't work that way. I wish it did, where we could dial it up. It's that time. He's had X-number of whatever. The other team doesn't cooperate all the time. It wasn't a hard decision putting a green light on there, OK? That wasn't Einstein. That was pretty easy."
The Orioles (64-69) had lost 12 of 13.
It was Davis’ 38th home run, his second of the game, and his fourth career game-ending shot.
Brad Brach (5-2) was the winner. He pitched two scoreless innings.
Kevin Gausman allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings, but it could have been even worse.
Steve Pearce’s leaping catch stole a home run from Brandon Guyer in the first, and Jones’ throw home caught Logan Forsythe at the plate. Forsythe tried to score on Kevin Kiermaier’s single, the third of the inning.
J.P. Arencibia started the third with a long fly ball down the left field line that was confirmed as a home run after a three minute, 45 second delay. It was his second in two games.
With one out, Guyer doubled and Evan Longoria homered to left.
Gausman dropped Davis’ toss of John Jaso’s grounder for an error. Forsythe’s doubled and Asdrubal Cabrera walked to load the bases. James Loney singled for a 4-0 lead, and Gausman was out of the game.
“I’m just glad we won. That’s the biggest thing. Especially with what we are going through right now. That’s the biggest thing, we came right back and put up four, and it was a great game. You can kind of tell, we didn't want to lose,” Gausman said.
Pearce doubled off Erasmo Ramirez to start the third. With one out, Machado singled to score Pearce. Parra’s double scored Machado, and with two outs, Davis hit his 37th home run to tie the score at 4.
Mychal Givens surrendered consecutive doubles to Arencibia and Grady Sizemore in the sixth, and Tampa Bay (66-67) ed 5-4.
Longoria hit his second home run in the ninth off Darren O’Day to make it 6-4.
Matt Wieters walked off Brad Boxberger to lead off the ninth, and Jonathan Schoop hit his 11th home run of the year to tie the score at 6.
NOTES: The Orioles optioned OF Dariel Alvarez to Frederick because he has visa issues getting into Canada where the Orioles head for a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Friday. Alvarez will return to the Orioles after the Keys’ season ends on Monday.
Showalter says the Orioles will probably add a position player and pitcher for the Toronto series. They do not anticipate placing Miguel Gonzalez on the disabled list.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9, 4.34) faces Drew Hutchison (13-2, 4.87) on Friday night at Rogers Centre. … The Orioles have seven game-ending home runs and a major league leading 41 outfield assists.