BALTIMORE (AP) — The same wrist that supported a crystal globe before the game was wrapped heavily in ice after the final out.
In between, Chris Davis finished a season in which he led the majors in homers (53) and RBIs (138), even though his work was over a couple of hours earlier than planned. A sprained left wrist forced him out in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s definitely not the way you want to go out,” he said. “I’m just glad it’s nothing serious.”
Davis’ crystal award was the prize for being named team MVP, hardly a surprise in a season in which he’s mentioned as a possible league MVP. His injury came on a nubber by Jacoby Ellsbury that stopped only a few feet in front of home plate.
Catcher Steve Clevenger pounced on the ball, but his throw hit Ellsbury on the left side of the back just as Ellsbury was arriving at the bag. Davis’ attempt to catch the ball left his outstretched hand in the path of Ellsbury’s torso.
Davis’ glove flew off, and he immediately grabbed his wrist. He attempted a few throws under the supervision of the trainer before leaving to a standing ovation.
X-rays were negative.
“Nothing serious, no broken bones, no fractures, just sprained my wrist,” Davis said. “They said it would probably be sore for a few days. It’s not going to affect anything going into the offseason, nothing like that. I was really glad to hear that.”
Manager Buck Showalter was more cautious.
“We dodged a bullet there, hopefully,” Showalter said. “Next week or two passes and he’s still got problems, we’ll go into more detail with it.”
Davis’ sub, Ryan Flaherty, picked up the slack, hitting an RBI single in a five-run fifth and a run-scoring double when the Orioles took the lead for good in the sixth.
The Orioles finished 85-77, giving them back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996-97, an achievement that hardly tempers the disappointment of not repeating last year’s run to the playoffs.
“Obviously last year, with the one-run wins and the extra-inning wins, that’s something that’s really tough to duplicate,” Davis said. “But I think we might be more of a complete team this year.”
Making liberal use of the bench and bullpen with home-field advantage in the postseason already clinched, the Red Sox blew a 5-0 lead and used seven pitchers. Rubby De La Rosa (0-2) gave up Baltimore’s go-ahead run in the sixth.
Boston wrapped up a 97-65 season, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball. The Red Sox will open their division series at Fenway Park on Friday against the winner of the AL’s wild-card playoff.
T.J. McFarland (4-1), the second of four Orioles pitchers, threw one scoreless inning for the win.
Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 50th save, but not before allowing one run and nearly a second that would have tied the game. The Red Sox had men on first and third with one out when Will Middlebrooks ended the game by hitting into a 5-4-3 double play.
Johnson, who had 51 saves last year, became the second player in major league history with back-to-back 50-save seasons, joining Eric Gagne, who had 52 in 2002 and 55 in 2003.
“We felt we owed it to ourselves and to our fans to go out on a positive note,” Davis said. “We hung in there with them.”
Notes: Baltimore set a major league record with 54 errors in a 162-game season, 11 fewer than the previous mark set by the 2003 Mariners. … Orioles CF Adam Jones sat out with a sore right wrist, which he hurt while fouling off a pitch in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s game. … Baltimore drew more than 2.3 million, its best season attendance since 2005.
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