BOSTON (WJZ) — Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis’ historic streak is finally behind him. The struggling slugger smacked a two-RBI single off of Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello in the top of the first inning of Saturday’s game at Fenway Park, ending a brutal string of 54 hitless at-bats that stretched back to September 14th of last season.
Players in the Orioles dugout gave Davis a rousing ovation after the hit as he stood smiling on first base, and the Boston crowd also gave him a warm reception. To celebrate the moment himself, he even asked to keep the baseball.
Davis had surpassed the record held by former Los Angeles Dodgers utilityman Eugenio Velez (46 ABs) set back in 2011.
It isn’t all sunshine for Davis quite yet though as he now must work to get on base with his bat more frequently, particularly if he wants to win back the support of frustrated Orioles fans. He’s certainly on his way though. Davis led all batters in the game, going 3 for 5, including two doubles, and knocking in four runs. The breakout game lifted his average for the season to .079.
The good news continues for fans too, as a bar in downtown Baltimore is offering free drinks in celebration of the streak being over. Enjoy responsibly.
It’s been a tough couple of years for Davis and the O’s. The team still owe him around $92 million in guaranteed money due to the contract extension that he signed in the offseason of 2015. That contract will be paid out in deferred payments through the 2037 season.
Last year, Davis also set an unflattering record after posting a .168 batting average over the course of 128 games and 522 plate appearances. That batting average is the worst for any qualified hitter in Major League Baseball history since the league adopted the current 162-game schedule.