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Minnesota (2-2)0004010005101
Baltimore (3-1) «00112005x9140

Davis continues torrid start with grand slam to carry O's

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BALTIMORE -- It seems as if there is no ballpark -- or landmark -- big enough to contain the mighty swing of Baltimore slugger Chris Davis.

Davis extended his torrid start with a grand slam and five RBI, and the Orioles used a five-run eighth inning to beat Minnesota 9-5 Friday in their home opener.

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Davis became the fourth player in major league history to homer in his first four games of the season, joining Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz. He is 9 for 15 (.600) with four homers and 16 RBI.

According to the Orioles, Davis' 16 RBI in his team's first four games breaks the old big league record of 12.

"If you put him in the Grand Canyon, he'll hit it out," teammate Adam Jones said. "Whatever he's doing, stick to it. Show up tomorrow and do it again."

Davis insists he's doing nothing extraordinary, even though the results suggest otherwise.

"I don't feel like I have anything magical," he said. "I feel comfortable and I feel like I'm being patient. I'm taking what they give me."

The Orioles trailed 5-4 before loading the bases with one out in the eighth against Casey Fien (0-1). After Jones tied it with an RBI single, Davis greeted Twins reliever Tyler Robertson with an opposite-field shot to left on the first pitch.

"Leave the ball up to a guy, especially when they're hot, they're going to hit it hard sometime," Robertson said. "He barely swung and he hit that ball. He's just on fire right now. He's seeing it good. It's easy to say I should have went with a breaking ball, but if I get that fastball down, I think I'm OK, too."

The grand slam set off a wild celebration from the sellout crowd of 46,653, many of whom came to welcome back the Orioles from their banner 2012 season, when they ended a run of 14 years of losing with their first playoff appearance since 1997.

Luis Ayala (1-0) allowed two hits in scoreless 1 2/3 innings for the Orioles, who improved to 3-1 after taking two of three from Tampa Bay on the road.

Brian Dozier drove in three runs for the Twins, who were playing their first road game. Minnesota lost three straight in Baltimore to start last season.

"I saw the ball good today, came up with a couple hits in some key situations, and that's what hitting is all about," Dozier said.

Davis knows all about it. No one has come up with more clutch hits during this young season than Baltimore's muscle-laden first baseman.

"He's in a good place right now," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Twins starter Liam Hendricks gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He retains his lifetime 1-10 record.

After Dozier put Minnesota ahead with an RBI single in the sixth, Fien struck out pinch-hitter Alexi Casilla in the seventh with runners at second and third and two outs. Casilla was hitting for Ryan Flaherty, who stranded five runners in his previous two at-bats.

But Baltimore completed the comeback in a big way in the eighth.

Starting his third straight home opener for the Orioles, Jake Arrieta was victimized by a four-run fourth inning in which he yielded three consecutive two-out RBI hits. The right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits over five-plus innings, and needed 95 pitches to do so.

Baltimore went up 1-0 in the third when Nate McLouth hit a two-out single, stole second and came home on Manny Machado's liner up the middle -- his first RBI of the season.

Minnesota responded with a four-run fourth. With two outs and two on, Chris Parmelee hit a broken-bat RBI single and Dozier followed with a two-run triple over the head of right fielder Nick Markakis. Eduardo Escobar capped the uprising with a run-scoring single.

The Orioles tied it at 4 in the fifth. Markakis singled and scored on a double by Jones, who took third on the throw to the plate and came home on a sacrifice fly by Davis.

Before the game, the Orioles celebrated some of their accomplishments of last year and paid homage to Earl Weaver, the Hall of Fame manager who died in January.

J.J. Hardy, Jones and Matt Wieters received the Gold Gloves they won in 2012. Instead of a ceremonial first pitch, a baseball was placed next to the pitching rubber as a tribute to Weaver, who won 1,480 games over 17 seasons with the Orioles.

Notes

  • The Orioles placed 2B Brian Roberts (right hamstring strain) on the 15-day DL and recalled infielder Yamaico Navarro from Triple-A Norfolk.
  • Chris Tillman will come off the DL and start for the Orioles on Saturday night. The Twins will send Vance Worley (0-1) to the mound.
  • Baltimore improved to 40-20 in home openers.
  • Minnesota hasn't won in Baltimore since April 21, 2011.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Chris Davis joins Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz as the only players to homer in their first four games. (USATSI)
Chris Davis joins Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz as the only players to homer in their first four games. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

B. Dozier
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Baltimore

C. Davis
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
 

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Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Aaron Hicks, CF5000014 .059
Joe Mauer, DH5000011 .222
Josh Willingham, LF5120030 .267
Justin Morneau, 1B3100100 .308
Ryan Doumit, C3110113 .188
Trevor Plouffe, 3B3020012 .333
Chris Parmelee, RF4111003 .143
Brian Dozier, 2B4123001 .273
Eduardo Escobar, SS4021023 .500
Totals36510529  
Batting
2B - Josh Willingham 2 (2, Arrieta, Ayala), Ryan Doumit (2, Arrieta)
3B - Brian Dozier (1, Arrieta)
RBI - Chris Parmelee (2), Brian Dozier 3 (3), Eduardo Escobar (3)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Parmelee (2), Brian Dozier 2 (2), Eduardo Escobar (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Ryan Doumit (1, Missed catch of throw)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Liam Hendriks 4.2844110 7.71
Ryan Pressly 1000210 0.00
Brian Duensing (H,2) 1200000 3.86
Casey Fien (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.2344110 18.00
Tyler Robertson 0.2111011 9.00
IBB - Markakis by Casey Fien
WP - Ryan Pressly (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Liam Hendriks 96-63, Ryan Pressly 22-12, Brian Duensing 13-9, Casey Fien 24-15, Tyler Robertson 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Liam Hendriks 7-7, Brian Duensing 2-1, Casey Fien 1-0, Tyler Robertson 1-0
Batters Faced - Liam Hendriks 24, Ryan Pressly 5, Brian Duensing 5, Casey Fien 6, Tyler Robertson 3
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nate McLouth, LF5220004 .308
Manny Machado, 3B4011001 .167
Nick Markakis, RF4220102 .222
Adam Jones, CF5332001 .526
Chris Davis, 1B4125000 .600
Matt Wieters, C4020100 .429
J.J. Hardy, SS4011110 .176
Ryan Flaherty, 2B3000025 .000
   a- Alexi Casilla, PH-2B1000012 .000
Nolan Reimold, DH3110103 .300
Totals37914944  
a-struck out for Flaherty in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adam Jones (3, Hendriks), J.J. Hardy (2, Duensing)
HR - Chris Davis (4, Robertson)
SF - Chris Davis (1)
SH - Manny Machado (1)
RBI - Manny Machado (1), Adam Jones 2 (4), Chris Davis 5 (16), J.J. Hardy (3)
2-OUT RBI - Manny Machado (1)
SB - Nate McLouth (2, 2nd base off Hendriks/Doumit)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Flaherty-Hardy-Davis
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Arrieta 5755250 9.00
Troy Patton 1.1100020 0.00
Luis Ayala (W,1-0) 1.2200010 9.00
Pedro Strop 1000010 13.50
HBP - Plouffe (by Jake Arrieta)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Arrieta 93-61, Troy Patton 15-11, Luis Ayala 30-19, Pedro Strop 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Arrieta 4-5, Troy Patton 1-1, Luis Ayala 4-0, Pedro Strop 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Arrieta 24, Troy Patton 5, Luis Ayala 7, Pedro Strop 3
Game Information
Attendance - 46653
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi