The Boston Red Sox fell to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday behind a surprising performance from the slumping Chris Davis.
It’s bad enough when you lose on your home field to a team that lost 115 games last season. It’s humiliating when the damage was done by arguably the worst hitter in baseball. That’s exactly what the Boston Red Sox allowed to happen when they were beaten by Chris Davis.
The beleaguered Baltimore Orioles first baseman was in the midst of a historic slump until Boston’s pitching staff gave him a desperately needed confidence boost. Davis snapped an unfathomable 0-for-54 streak dating back to last season with a bases loaded single that drove in two in the top of the first inning.
Fine, one hit that cost the Red Sox a pair of runs. Rick Porcello may have been a bit rattled early and trying to force each pitch into the strike zone after walking two batters. Davis found a pitch that caught too much of the plate and dunked it into right field. The law of averages implies it was bound to happen eventually.
Just to prove his newfound hitting prowess was no fluke, Davis smashed a double in the fifth inning to drive in another run. This time it was Heath Hembree who let Davis get the better of him. The drive to deep right center put Baltimore back ahead after the Red Sox had rallied to tie the game.
The O’s would add to their lead with a four-run sixth inning that essentially put the game out of reach. Davis tacked on the last of those runs by driving a runner in on a fielder’s choice. Even when Davis made an out he was hurting the Red Sox!
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The lethargic Red Sox were toast by the time the eighth inning rolled around but Davis wasn’t done toying with them. When you bust out of a slump as dismal as the one Davis was buried in, you don’t want the momentum to stop. He would add his third hit of the game with a double when Tyler Thornburg left a meatball over the middle of the plate. The last time Davis had a three-hit game was August 28 of last season against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Davis was so hopelessly lost that you had to feel sorry for him. It seemed impossible for a major league hitter to go that long without recording a hit, let alone one making an obscene $23 million this year. He was the worst player in the majors against everyone else yet the Red Sox made him look like an MVP candidate.
Plenty of other Orioles hitters contributed to their victory. That’ll happen when you rack up nine runs on 13 hits and a ridiculous eight walks. This was Davis’ game though. He drove in Baltimore’s first three runs and four of their first seven.
The Red Sox lost and it was Chris Davis who beat them. No other team in baseball can say that this season and the players in Boston’s clubhouse should be hanging their heads for letting it happen.