In a back and forth affair, neither team could make the decisive play to seal the game.
There were three lead changes in the game, with each team responding to a home run with one of their own. Rays were held hitless through the fourth inning until Michela Perez hit a solo Home Run for the team’s first hit and the game’s first score. Then Orioles third baseman Renato Nunez responded in the bottom of the same inning with a two-run home run to take a 2-1 lead.
The next lead change occurred on the 6th when first baseman Ji-Man Choi hit a two-run home run to give the Rays a 3-2 lead. Again the Orioles responded in the bottom of the same inning when first baseman Chris Davis ran in Yusniel Diaz, who got to third on a triple, with a sacrifice fly.
The lead changes would end in the 6th inning as both teams failed to get a runner in scoring position for the last three innings.
Chris Davis Hot Start to Spring Training Continues
Chris Davis has been on a tear through spring training. In five games, he’s hit three home runs, 6 RBI, and is averaging .625 with a .714 OBP. He had a comparatively quiet day vs. the Rays. However, he still had a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.
Chris Davis infamously started last season in the middle of a hitless streak that would last 54 at-bats, an MLB Record. His hot start in spring training may indicate a change this season.
However, the Rays stuck with the game plan that is credited with eroding Chris Davis’s hitting numbers from his MVP candidate years: The defensive shift. He is the league leader in defensive shifts faced in the 2018-2019 seasons combined. And he met one in every at-bat vs. the Rays.
It’s too soon to tell if Chris Davis has figured out the defensive shift. Or if this five-game streak is an aberration.
The Orioles visit the defending champions, The Nationals, on March 3.
The Rays visit the Braves on March 3.