BALTIMORE – Chris Davis’ voice started to crack. His Orioles career is probably in its last few days, and he knows what’s coming.
Davis is a free agent, and so are five others, but his is the name that Baltimore talks about.
The Orioles have four games left on their schedule, but who knows how many more home runs Davis will hit?
On Wednesday night, he hit two, bringing his total to 45, the fifth most in team history as the Orioles won the second game of a doubleheader from the Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 before 26,330 at Orioles Park.
Earlier, the Blue Jays had clinched their first American League East title with a 15-2 win in the first game.
In the second game, Kevin Gausman allowed one run on five hits in eight innings, and then Manny Machado and Davis homered off Ryan Tepera (0-2) in the seventh.
Davis and another potential free agent, Matt Wieters homered in the eighth.
His first home run was his 200th, and Wieters was his 100th, and maybe their final ones here.
“I’m trying not to reminisce too much just yet. I definitely want to enjoy these last few games, just kind of take everything in, being around these guys, playing in front of our fans, and wearing this uniform. I try not to let myself look too far ahead. I think, if I did that, it would be a lot harder the last few days and take some joy away. I’m trying to take everything in and enjoy it,” Davis said.
In July 2011, Davis came to the Orioles from the Texas Rangers, and almost immediately, things turned around for the team.
Davis set a team record with 53 home runs in 2013, and after a horrible year that ended with a 25-game suspension for use of amphetamines without a prescription, rebounded strongly this season.
Besides the 45 homers, he has 112 RBIs, and will be a much sought after free agent.
“This is a special group of guys, it has been for the four years I’ve been here. I feel like every clubhouse group we have had has been extremely close, like a family. It’s going to be tough when the last day comes, but I think everybody is trying to enjoy these few days,” Davis said.
Wieters has a more uncertain path. There aren’t many first basemen available with the numbers that Davis has, but Wieters is barely a year removed from Tommy John surgery, and he hasn’t played a full schedule this year.
Like Davis, he’s been trying to enjoy himself and think about his 6 ½ years here.
“I do that at the end of every year, you think about the year a little bit, but this will be a different offseason for me, not really knowing, so I am taking in as much as I can and it’s been a great time in Baltimore. So I’m want to try and relive some memories here if I have to,” Wieters said.
Gausman (4-7) allowed one run on five hits in eight innings, striking out a career-high 10 without a walk.
“I feel like this was the type of game I needed to end the season on, and obviously a good thing going forward,” Gausman said.
Darwin Barney hit a home run with two outs in the eighth for Toronto (92-66).
The doubleheader was a result of Wednesday’s rainout, and because of an ominous forecast, the Orioles and Blue Jays moved Thursday’s game up from a 7:05 p.m. start to a 12:05 start.
In the first game, Miguel Gonzalez made his first start in exactly a month, and it didn’t go as well as he planned. Gonzalez had tendinitis in his right shoulder, and without the benefit of a rehab start, allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Gonzalez (9-12) ends his season with a sixth straight loss.
Marcus Stroman (4-0) allowed one run in eight innings.
The bullpen allowed 11 runs as the Orioles tied their season high for most runs allowed.
A year ago, the Orioles clinched the AL East against Toronto, and now the Orioles had to watch the Blue Jays.
“It’s a little difficult. They watched us last year, and we want to be there, but it happens,” Jonathan Schoop said.
Davis isn’t sure how he’ll feel when he leaves the Orioles clubhouse on Sunday, perhaps for the final time.
“I’ve tried to not let myself go there yet. It’s tough to think about. This has been a place where I really felt like I solidified myself in the Major Leagues, the place where I turned my career around. Had a lot of good memories, a lot of success. So it’s going to be tough but I’m just trying to enjoy these last few days,” Davis said.
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