BALTIMORE—For Chris Davis, it’s been a difficult year, a forgettable year. After his first game with two extra-base hits this season, he couldn’t feel happy because the Orioles lost again, 4-3, to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
And, Davis has that unsettled feeling with Manny Machado and Zach Britton already gone, and Adam Jones possibly on his way.
Davis has the second-most seniority on the club, behind only Jones, and said it’s a different Orioles clubhouse than it was before the All-Star break.
“There’s no doubt,” Davis said. “I felt that way when Manny was traded and obviously not long after, Zach was traded.
“It seems like there might be more moves in the future for us, and I think it’s something that we all realized was a possibility, but you don’t know how you’re going to feel until it actually happens, and it’s definitely a different atmosphere.”
Davis appreciated having longtime teammates in the clubhouse, and misses their presence.
“I don’t want to say quieter. It’s just different,” Davis said. “ I preached at spring training last year and earlier this year, how special it is trying to play with the same group of guys for as many years as we did, and I think some of the younger guys don’t realize how special it is to have the same group together year-in and year-out … we’re starting to see some of those guys go, and it’s tough, but we’ve got to make the best of the situation we’re in.”
Jones’ locker is nearest to Davis’, and he doesn’t want to contemplate another move.
“I haven’t thought about it too much,” Davis said. “Jonesy and I are obviously pretty close, and we have been since Day One. Being right next to each other in the clubhouse, having kids around the same age — the kids are in the same class in school. It’s tough, man. I really try not to go there. I can’t really tell you how I’m going to feel until it happens, but it’s going to be tough for everybody.”
Davis had a fifth-inning double and eighth-inning home run, and is hitting .158. It was his first multi-hit game since June 27, and he broke an 0-for-13 streak.
“I feel like I’m seeing the ball a lot better,” Davis said. “I feel like I’m a lot calmer in the box. I haven’t quite gotten the results I would have liked other than tonight, but I think the biggest thing for me is to try to take something positive away.
“Obviously, it’s been a tough season for me, not only personally but for the team as well, and I want to do everything I can to finish the season strong and take some momentum into the offseason.”
Another tough loss for Cobb
Alex Cobb continues down the hard-luck path. He again pitched creditably, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in six-plus innings
Cobb, who is 2-14, gave up two runs on five hits in six innings, but gave up three hits to start the seventh. One run scored after he left the game when Jhan Marinez threw wildly to first.
“I’m just trying to win,” Cobb said. “Maybe I should stop trying so hard. Maybe that’ll help.”
Despite losing his seventh straight decision and fifth consecutive start, Cobb’s ERA fell to a season-low 6.09.
In those seven losses, Cobb has thrown three quality starts.
“It’s been tough,” Cobb said. “I mean, finding every which way to lose a ballgame right now and try to, like I’ve been saying, take positives from the game. I felt better each time out, so just keep following that path and hopefully the tide will turn on it.”
How’s that for openers?
The Orioles faced reliever Hunter Wood to start the game. In Rays’ parlance, Wood was the “opener.” A reliever who was making his second straight start, Wood was removed after facing seven batters and replaced by Ryan Yarbrough, who threw 4 1/3 innings and got the win.
Tampa Bay has employed the opener concept since May 19, and used it 23 times. Entering Thursday’s game, Tampa Bay’s 3.16 ERA led the major leagues during that time.
Manager Buck Showalter said that the Rays’ modus operandi doesn’t really complicate his preparation.
“Normally it would, but we’re so right-handed dominant,” Showalter said.
“Most nights we only have one left-handed hitter in there. So it doesn’t really affect what we’re going to do or be able to do. Most cases it would, but I mean, I keep in mind why they are doing it. And why they’ve had a lot of depth because they’ve had a lot of challenges with injuries for whatever reason.
“They had a lot of people they’re able to have in and out of there, which you have to be able to do. I think more importantly, as important is they’re a versatile club with their position players. They can play a lot of places and do a lot of things.”
A traditional starter, Chris Archer, goes Friday night. The Rays haven’t listed starters for Saturday and Sunday.
Dylan Bundy, who gave up three home runs to 10 batters in Wednesday night’s truncated game, will get a shot at Tampa Bay on Sunday. Bundy’s stats don’t count because the game was canceled after a wait of just over two-and-a-half hours.
Showalter didn’t want Bundy to wait until next Tuesday to start again. The Orioles are off Monday.
Yefry Ramirez, whose innings Showalter is trying to limit, will switch from Sunday to Tuesday.
Wednesday night’s rainout with Boston has been rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader Aug.11. The makeup game begins at 1:05 p.m., and the regularly scheduled game begins at 7:05 p.m.
The Orioles’ Aug. 26 game with the Yankees has been selected for “Sunday Night Baseball” on ESPN. It will start at 8:05, and is the Orioles’ first Sunday night game this season.
Outfielder Craig Gentry (rib) begins a rehab assignment Monday at Low-A Delmarva. Infielder Steve Wilkerson (oblique) starts his rehab Monday at Gulf Coast and hopes to move to Class-A Frederick Wednesday.
Double-A Bowie outfielder Anthony Santander is on the minor league disabled list with cellulitis. Santander, a Rule 5 pick in December 2016, who began the year with the Orioles, is hitting .258 with five home runs and 22 RBIs with the Baysox.
In 33 games with the Orioles this season, Santander hit .198 with a home run and six RBIs.
“I was hoping for a little better, but he’s still a young player trying to find his way,” Showalter said. “He’s a prospect. Next year, you’ll really have a feel for what you’ve got.”
Jonathan Schoop homered for the fourth straight game. He has five home runs in the games since the trade of Machado. He’s the first Oriole to homer in four straight games since Davis did it Aug. 17-20, 2016.