(AP) — Given the way he’s performed against Oakland in recent seasons, it’s not surprising Chris Davis has continued to excel at the plate during a visit from the Athletics.
After finishing off a comeback victory, Davis will try to give the Baltimore Orioles another boost in the wild-card race Sunday.
Davis hit his second homer in the ninth inning and drove in three runs as Baltimore (59-56) rallied from an early three-run deficit for a 4-3 victory. The Orioles first baseman is batting .344 with an MLB-best 15 homers and 35 RBIs in his last 25 games dating back to July 19.
Davis is hitting .343 with 12 homers and 32 RBIs in his last 29 against Oakland (51-67) since the start of the 2011 season and .409 with five homers and 12 RBIs in five this season.
His sixth longball in six contests pushed Baltimore within one-half game of the Los Angeles Angels for the AL’s second wild card.
Davis’ three homers in this series have helped Baltimore earn back-to-back wins – both in walk-off fashion. Manny Machado homered in the 13th inning in an 8-6 victory Friday, a game the Orioles trailed 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings.
“Any time you’re winning it’s a lot of fun, especially when you do it the way we’ve done it the last couple nights, walking off,” said Davis, whose team has won seven of nine at home since the All-Star break.
Wei-Yin Chen (6-6, 3.21 ERA) seeks to improve to 5-0 against the A’s after coming up short in Oakland on Aug. 5. The left-hander gave up three runs in five innings, but the Orioles eventually won 7-3 in 10.
Chen followed by yielding one run in 7 1-3 innings in a 3-2 win in Seattle on Monday.
He has a 2.19 ERA in his six career matchups with Oakland and is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three at Camden Yards.
In this meeting, Chen will try to send the A’s to a season high-tying sixth consecutive defeat and extend their road losing streak to seven. The A’s, 13-27 in one-run games, haven’t dropped seven straight away from home since June 3-9, 2011.
“We’re going to find out what this group is made of going forward. It’s that simple,” said pitcher Chris Bassitt, whose team has lost 12 of 15 on the road.
Kendall Graveman (6-8, 3.89) will seek to snap those skids while ending his personal one at four. The right-hander took a 4-2 defeat in Toronto on Tuesday, giving up four runs in 4 2-3 innings.
Despite that lackluster effort, Graveman has a respectable 2.65 ERA in his last three starts but has gotten a combined five runs of support. He’s received seven in his six-start winless drought.
Graveman faced Chen earlier this month and gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings in his only start versus Baltimore. Davis went 1 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout against him.
Billy Butler hit the first of the A’s four doubles off Chen and is 9 for 20 with six extra-base hits lifetime against the left-hander. Butler, though, is also batting .136 in his last seven games.