Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/31/13
Chris Davis hasn't allowed his post-All-Star break slump sap his sense of humor so the Orioles slugger could joke about hitting his first home run of the second half Tuesday night — the decisive blow in the Orioles' 4-3 win over the Houston Astros. “Oh I'm so happy” Davis deadpanned. “I can go home and sleep tonight and just eat food again. I don't have to wake up every three hours and cry.” Davis' two-run homer in the sixth inning — his majors-leading 38th of the season — ended a homerless streak of 43 at-bats that dated back to July 14 the final game before the break. It also turned what could have been a disappointing loss to an Astros team with the worst record in baseball into a much-needed comeback victory. Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave Davis an extra day off from playing defense following Monday's off day — placing him at designated hitter for the fourth time this season and the first since June 27. The move paid off for Davis who reached base three times in four plate appearances and hit the game-winning blast into the left-field seats to give him 99 RBIs tying him with Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead. “We all know how well Chris has hit” Showalter said. “He's been so consistent. And you look around. Whatever's going on he's hitting .300 and has almost 100 RBIs so it's not like a real challenging decision to write his name in the lineup. I wanted to get him off the field for two [days] in a row.” The Orioles (59-48) losers of five of their past six heading into the night opened a stretch in which 14 of 17 games come against teams with records below .500. These are games the Orioles need to take advantage of before the regular season takes its final turn into its last six weeks — when all but 10 of the remaining games are against division foes. Tuesday's win kept the Orioles five games back of the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays who won their 23rd game in their past 27 games with a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Orioles recorded just three hits on the night including just two Lucas Harrell the Astros' replacement starter when Bud Norris was scratched earlier in the afternoon amid chatter that he was about to be traded. But Harrell (5-11) who leads the AL with 67 walks issued five of them through 5 1/3 innings Tuesday and three of those baserunners ended up scoring. Davis' homer against the right-hander came on a 3-1 fastball at the knees that Davis hit into the opposite way into the left-field stands also plating Nick Markakis who drew a leadoff walk. “It's not like I've felt terrible” Davis said. “But I've just been way too aggressive and way too aggressive on balls out of the zone. That's something that everybody in our lineup has to realize. Teams aren't just going to go up there and roll the ball the ball up there for us. We're going to have to work for everything we get and that was my goal today to kind of be a little bit more patient and it obviously paid off.”
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