Davis' HR gives O's 2nd walk-off in row vs. A's
BALTIMORE -- After a 13-inning thriller on Friday, the Orioles were successful once again in producing late-inning offensive production, this time coming off a walk-off home run by Chris Davis off of switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to top the A's, 4-3.
"It's off the plate away, and he ended up one-handing it out of the park," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "A good hitter hit a good pitch right there."
The home run was just another moment of an incredible second half for Davis who is hitting .333 with 15 home runs and 36 RBIs since the All-Star break. Davis now has six home runs in his last six games. His walk-off was his second long ball of the game, his first being a two-run shot in the fourth inning that brought the Orioles to within one run and that made him the League leader in RBIs (88). The Orioles also walked off against Oakland on Friday on a Manny Machado game-winning home run. It was the first time the Orioles logged two consecutive walk-off victories via a home run since July 22-23, 1998, against Oakland.
"It would be nice to win by 4 or 5 runs and not have to hold your breath the whole game, but any time you get a win at home, it's big no matter what time of the year it is," Davis said. Chris Bassitt went a career-high eight innings for Oakland, with his only other blemish coming off a solo home run by Gerardo Parra in the sixth. Zach Britton was credited with the win for Baltimore a night after blowing the save on Friday.
"I just want to have the type of people that are going to seek their level, that are capable of it, and I think we have those guys," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Whatever it ends up being, we will be who we are. I think we have some people that want to get back to where we were last year. It's that time of year."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crush keeps on crushing: The Orioles were reliant on the home-run ball once again on Saturday with all of their RBIs coming via the long ball. Davis finished off the power surge with a walk-off home run to right to cap off a three-RBI night. He also put the Orioles on the board in the board in the fourth with a two-run shot to right.
"I had a pretty good scouting report after I saw [Gerardo] Parra's at-bat," Davis said of facing Venditte. "I thought it was a great at-bat by him, a guy that you've never seen. You obviously know he can switch either hand. I got a chance to see it. The last pitch I hit was actually a good pitch. I was just trying to put the barrel on it and give myself a chance." More >
Gonzalez stumbles, recovers: It was looking like another poor start for Miguel Gonzalez, who entered the game with an 0-2 record and 8.10 ERA over his prior three starts. The right-hander gave up a run after the first two batters, and he also allowed two solo homers in the third. Gonzalez issued three straight walks in the fifth inning, but got out of the inning with a big double play and ended up retiring his last seven batters he faced.
"Mentally, you get that adrenaline going," Gonzalez said of his feeling following the double play. "It's positive. I think being able to go seven innings after last night's game was really big."
Super Sam: Fuld not only went deep in the third for his second homer of the season but also showed off his typically stellar defense in the outfield. After Jonathan Schoop singled to lead off the seventh with the game tied at 3, Steve Clevenger sent a liner to left field that Fuld snagged for a sensational catch and fired back to the infield to double up Schoop at first base and halt a potential threat.
"If he doesn't make that catch, things could've gone bad quickly," said Bassitt. "I needed it. They knew I needed it." More >
Bassitt battles: Despite feeling ill from the heat most of his outing, Bassitt managed to compile a career-high eight innings with just five hits allowed. That two were homers was a rarity for the right-hander, who had not given up more than one in any of his previous seven starts and just three total on the season. He has just one win in eight starts despite pitching to a 2.44 ERA in that span.
"He continues to really impress me and everyone else," Fuld said. "He's fun to play behind, he's fun to watch. Just an aggressive pitcher with really good stuff. To limit this offense to just a couple runs is really impressive, and he's been really consistent. I wish we could give him more to show for it in the win column."
"It's just a little bit of command [early on]. Now whether or not there's too much want-to that's creating some of that, I don't apologize for him for that. Because that is a make-up, that is who you are outing right there. That's why we like Miggy, and he's not going to wallow around in self-pity. He's going to go, 'The club needs me to get through some innings'. He knows what happened last night, he was frustrated and he found another button. I can't tell you how hard that is to maintain that when he was a pitch away from coming out of the game two or three times and he found a way to give us what the club needed. That's a special outing by the starting pitcher tonight. " -- Showalter, on Gonzalez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Davis hit his 86th and 87th home runs at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Saturday and moved into sole possession of fifth place on the Oriole Park all-time home run list, passing Cal Ripken Jr.
A's: The A's will send right-hander Kendall Graveman to the mound for Sunday's 10:35 a.m. PT contest against the Orioles. Graveman is 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA over his last six starts after going 3-2 with a 1.26 ERA in his previous six outings. He faced the Orioles in Oakland on Aug. 5, allowing three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen will take the mound in the third game of the series at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. Although Chen has pitched to a 4.94 ERA in the second half, the left-hander has never lost to the A's in his career. He carries a 4-0 record and 2.19 ERA in six career starts against Oakland.
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