BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is playing down his early season success despite putting up some eyebrow-raising numbers.
The 27-year-old, six-year major league veteran clubbed an opposite-field grand slam in the eighth inning to lead the Orioles to a come-from-behind 9-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Davis joins Willie Mays (1971), Mark McGwire (1998) and Nelson Cruz (2011) as the only players to have hit home runs in the first four games of the season.
“It’s nothing magical,” Davis softly told a throng of reporters huddled around his locker. “I feel comfortable and I feel like I‘m being patient.”
Davis drilled the first pitch from reliever Tyler Robertson about 10 rows into the left-field stands, triggering a wild celebration by the crowd of more than 46,000 at the Orioles’ home opener.
Davis has hit .600 with a staggering 16 runs batted in, shattering the only big-league record of 12 after the first four games of the season.
While Davis was not trumpeting his numbers, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter gladly picked up the slack.
“His contact to damage ratio is real good right now,” he said. “I‘m glad he’s on our side ... Chris is not taking anything for granted. I‘m as proud of the way he’s handling his success as I am with the success he’s having.”
Davis clubbed a career-high 33 homers a year ago when the once-proud franchise ended a 14-year playoff drought. The Orioles are 3-1 this year and Davis is the toast of Baltimore.
He had five runs batted in on Friday, and has 11 homers in his last 11 games, dating back to last year.
Davis jumped on Robertson’s offering on the outside part of the plate and before the ball landed, the Camden Yards party had started. The blast capped a five-run eighth inning for the Orioles.
“It was actually a really good pitch,” said Davis, who has at least three RBI’s in each of the Orioles games this year. “The ball just kept carrying. And obviously it went out of the yard.”
Minnesota (2-2) led 4-2 in the fourth and 5-4 in the eighth before the roof fell in.
“There are a lot of good hitters up there and we made some mistakes,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “Before you know it, Davis comes up, he gets a fastball and deposits it. And there you have it.”
Editing by Ian Ransom