(The Sports Xchange) - Chris Davis was determined to pull the Baltimore Orioles out of one of their worst stretches in years and the first baseman accomplished that feat by hitting two home runs, including the game-winner on Wednesday.
The decisive walkofff blast in the 11th inning proved the difference between the teams as the Orioles snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-6 home victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I think the games at the end of September, the beginning of September against your division rivals, they always feel like playoff games,” Davis said.
“I think that you’ve got to be fired up for these games. They obviously mean a lot. We welcome the challenge.”
Davis led off the 11th with a towering shot to center off Matt Andriese (3-5) for his 38th homer of the season. The Orioles also got their first win this season when trailing after eight innings (1-61).
Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer off Rays closer Brad Boxberger in the ninth to force extra innings.
Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe had three hits and went 9-for-10 in the series. Third baseman Evan Longoria homered twice and catcher J.P. Arencibia also added solo shot for the Rays.
“I thought we, as a team, swung the bat really well this series,” Longoria said. “Hopefully, there is that carryover. This is the stretch run. We have to put some series together like we did here to give ourselves a chance in the end.”
With the game tied 4-4 in the sixth, Tampa Bay left fielder Grady Sizemore hit a two-out, RBI double off right-hander Mychal Givens. Longoria gave Tampa Bay a two-run cushion with a solo home run in the top of the ninth off right-hander Darren O‘Day.
Boxberger, however, could not close out the game, allowing the game-tying homer to Schoop after walking catcher Matt Wieters.
“You want a sweep when you can, especially in our situation,” Boxberger said. “For me, not being able to hold that kind of lead is not expected.”
Baltimore right-hander Brad Brach (5-2) picked up the win with two scoreless innings after Orioles starter Kevin Gausman lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits. He had one strikeout and two walks.
It was the shortest outing of his young career.
“Obviously, I wanted to be the guy that was going to shut the door, go seven or eight innings and give the guys a break down there,” Gausman said. “That’s not the way it happened.”
Editing by John O'Brien