Chris Davis throws two scoreless innings, earns first victory for AL position player since 1968

David Brown
Big League Stew

When the Baltimore Orioles ran out of pitchers Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park, they turned to designated hitter Chris Davis — who hadn't pitched since junior college six years ago. Amazingly, Davis came through, throwing 90 mph fastballs and 83 mph splitters to help beat the Boston Red Sox 9-6 in 17 innings, rescuing the O's in a game that had seemed endless.

"I seriously don't know what happened," MASN's Roch Kubato quoted Davis as saying.

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At the plate, Davis went 0 for 8 with five strikeouts, but he also pitched two scoreless innings — getting two strikeouts there, as well — to become the first AL position player to get a victory as a pitcher since Rocky Colavito in 1968. And that's just one of many remarkable historical footnotes in the longest and wackiest game of the season so far. How wacky?

• Davis also is the first pitcher to go 0 for 8 at the plate and get a victory since Rube Waddell in 1905. Oh-five!

• Darnell McDonald, an outfielder for the Red Sox, was the losing pitcher. This was the first major league game since 1925 in which both teams used a position player to pitch. Ty Cobb of the Tigers and George Sisler of the Browns, two Hall of Famers, closed out that game.

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• Each team used eight pitchers before getting to Davis and McDonald.

• J.J. Hardy had five hits, including two homers, and threw out the potential winning run at home in the 16th.

• Adrian Gonzalez went 0 for 8, and looked terrible whiffing on a Davis sinker before the game-ending double play. Davis also struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

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Davis is the first position player to get a decision of any kind since Wilson Valdez of the Phillies did it a season ago. A 26-year-old first baseman by trade who has gotten off to an impressive start at the plate for the O's, Davis seemed to be in a daze when asked to give his account of the game.

He said he wasn't nervous, but he also didn't want to be the guy to blow the game for the Orioles, who at 19-9 surprisingly have the best record in the league.

"After the first inning, I was just trying to get it over the plate, and I was like, 'This is a lot harder than it looks,'" Davis said. "I told myself to start using my legs so I didn't blow my arm out or anything like that. But in all seriousness, to get a win like that here, to end a road trip like this, it's huge. Neither team wanted to lose today, especially when it goes to extra innings. I mean, they would have pulled people out of the stands to finish that game. It's just a huge win for us."

Davis allowed two hits, walked one and struck out two. He threw 22 pitches, 14 for strikes.

There are more great quotes in Kubato's blog post.

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