Davis' consecutive homer streak ends at four
BALTIMORE -- It had to end sometime, but what a special streak it was.
Chris Davis tried to become the first player in Major League history to open a season with a homer in five consecutive games, but he was denied in the Orioles' 6-5 loss to the Twins on Saturday night.
"I wasn't actually thinking I need to hit a homer," said Davis, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. "My mind-set was more, drive in runs. Homers come and go, they come in bunches. ... My goal was never to go up there and swing for the fences. It's to do my job, simplify my approach and stay with it."
Davis, who struck out in his first at-bat, kept his RBI streak intact with a bloop single in the third inning that scored Manny Machado. He's now one game shy (five) of tying Brooks Robinson and Mike Devereaux for the club record for consecutive games with an RBI to begin the season.
On Friday, Davis joined a special trio (Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz) with his fourth consecutive home run game to start the season.
Mays, McGwire and Cruz all came down to earth relatively quickly after their four-game, season-starting outbursts. Mays didn't homer for five more games, and McGwire didn't hit another for eight more games. Cruz went 1-for-his-next-7 before going deep in the second game of a doubleheader after a three-game homerless drought.
So, how do you stop Davis -- who is hitting .556 with a Major League-leading 17 RBIs -- completely?
"I don't think we've figured that out," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said prior to Saturday's game. "I'm not sure anyone has. But that's the goal. The biggest problem with that lineup is they have some many guys getting on base for them. They have a very good lineup and a lot of good two-strike hitters. And so he comes up with a lot of guys on."
At 27, Davis is the youngest player to accomplish the feat of four consecutive homer games to open the season, eclipsing Cruz, who was 30 in 2011.
How did the seasons pan out for the first three to hit the mark to start the season?
It became very clear very quickly that the 1971 season would be a special one for Mays. The Say Hey Kid's four-game homer streak to open a season was the first in MLB history. Later, Mays -- in his final full year as a Giant -- helped lead San Francisco to a National League West crown in an epic pennant race against the archrival Dodgers.
That pattern held true for the Cardinals' McGwire, who mashed a home run in each of his first four games in 1998. Of course, McGwire went on to shatter Roger Maris' 37-year-old, single-season home run mark by crushing 70 long balls in an epic pursuit of baseball's most storied record.
The 2011 regular season wasn't anything special for Cruz, aside from his becoming the third player to start the year with a four-game homer streak. But that was before he pieced together one of the most memorable postseasons of all time, including a record-tying eight playoff homers and two extra-inning shots in the American League Championship Series -- one a walk-off grand slam.