Davis homers twice as O's cruise past Braves
BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Orioles to their fourth consecutive victory on Tuesday night, a 7-3 series win over the Braves at Camden Yards.
"There's times where we've played really good baseball and times when we've really struggled. I think there's a sense of urgency in here to go now," Davis said of a Baltimore team (50-49) trying to put a run together to get back into the postseason picture. "We know where we are in the standings, and we know the best way for us to move up is to win ballgames, and that's everybody's focus right now."
Davis, who has 24 homers on the year, went deep both times off Atlanta starter Julio Teheran, who lasted just four innings as the righty's road problems continued.
O's starter Ubaldo Jimenez looked early on like he would be in for a quick night as well, surrendering a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in a 25-pitch first, but he rebounded to go seven strong. Jimenez retired 18 of the final 20 batters he faced.
"We had him on the ropes in the first and we thought it was going to be a good day for us offensively," Freeman said. "But he was able to get into a groove and make some good pitches and go seven innings tonight. I didn't think that was going to happen at first."
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Jimenez rebounds: Following a pair of short starts to open the second half, Jimenez found his footing after the first inning and picked up his first win since the All-Star break. The righty didn't allow a hit after the first inning in the 106-pitch outing.
"I think the first inning I was leading with my front shoulder a little bit. It was way too open and the next inning I was able to get it better," Jimenez said. "They told me about it in the [Orioles] dugout -- they said, 'Hey, you are doing this,' and I was able to go and make an adjustment." More >
Davis leads offense, impresses with glove:The O's slugger delivered a go-ahead three-run homer in the first and a two-run blast in his next at-bat. It marked the 10th career multi-homer game (third of the season) for Davis, with the five RBIs matching his career high. He also impressed in right field, making a leaping grab on the warning track to retire A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth.
"Very quietly he snuck up on ... He's in the top five or 10 in RBIs in the American League," manager Buck Showalter said of Davis. "Very quietly he's grinding out another solid year for us." More >
Teheran extends road woes: After being spotted a two-run advantage before throwing his first pitch, Teheran labored through a 33-pitch first inning that included Davis' three-run shot. The right-hander retired nine of the final 13 batters he faced, but exited after totaling 92 pitches and allowing five runs through just four innings. The 7.32 ERA he has posted in 11 road starts is vastly different than the 2.37 ERA he's produced in 10 home starts.
"I'm trying to do the same thing that I do at home, where I feel really good," Teheran said. "It's a game. Sometimes you don't understand how it happens. But sometimes, you just have to work and keep your mind right." More >
Freeman returning to form: After missing more than a month with a sprained right wrist, Freeman played just one rehab game before returning to Atlanta's lineup on Saturday. The first baseman realizes it will take a little more time for him to reacquaint himself with the speed of the game, but he gained a confidence booster via the first-inning homer, which stands as one of the two hits he's recorded in 14 at-bats since coming off the disabled list. More >
"We know it's going to be a challenge. But we're competing, we're engaged and our guys will be as good as they're capable of being. I have a lot of confidence in that. We pitched well the last four or five games - it keeps us in the games - and I like the moxie our guys have when the game is close."
-- Showalter, on liking his current roster as Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline looms
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Teheran has allowed 15 home runs in 59 2/3 innings on the road and just three homers in 64 2/3 innings at home. He has completed fewer than five innings in four of 21 starts this season after doing so in just two of the 63 starts he made over the previous two seasons.
There were two early reviews in Tuesday's game, with a crew-chief review granting Freeman a two-run, first-inning homer (on what was originally a triple) and the Orioles winning their manager challenge in the bottom of the inning. The O's challenged that Travis Snider was hit by a pitch and, after a quick 50-second review, the on-field ruling was overturned.
Braves: Mike Foltynewicz will start in place of the injured Manny Banuelos when Atlanta and Baltimore conclude this three-game series on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET . Foltynewicz will be making his first start since he was removed from Atlanta's rotation and first optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on June 18.
Orioles: Chris Tillman, who has had two excellent second-half starts, gets the ball for Wednesday's series finale against Atlanta at Camden Yards. Tillman is 7-7 on the year with a 4.71 ERA.
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