(Sports Network) - Chris Davis tries to build upon an amazing first half of
the season on Friday when the Baltimore Orioles start their post All-Star Game
slate against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Davis matched the American League record for most home runs before the All-
Star break, as he swatted 37 to tie Reggie Jackson's 1969 mark. He also drove
in 93 in runs, which are two shy of Miguel Cabrera's major league-leading
He had been mired in an 0-for-17 slump, but homered in each of his final four
games before the break.
However, Davis battled a blister problem at Monday's Home Run Derby. It
doesn't appear to be something that will bother him going forward.
"This is something that happens usually once a year from swinging so much," he
said. "I started to feel it early in the second round and thought, 'OK, just
hang on to the bat.' It was a callus, but I guess this many consecutive swings
and it decided to blow open."
Davis' heroics are a huge reason why the O's entered the break at 10 games
over .500 a year after their first playoff appearance since 1997. Baltimore
finds itself 4 1/2 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the American League
East, but 1 1/2 games back of Texas for the second wild card spot in the
Getting the call for the Orioles on Friday will be Taiwanese lefty Wei-Yin
Chen, who won his first start since returning from the disabled list his last
time out. Chen had missed nearly two months with a strained oblique, but was
sharp against the Rangers, limiting them to a run and three hits in seven
innings to improve to 4-3, while lowering his ERA to 2.82.
Texas, meanwhile, holds one of the two wild card spots and is just two games
behind Oakland in the AL West, as it tries for a fourth consecutive postseason
berth, despite a bevy of injuries, particularly in the starting rotation.
"It's been a good season so far," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "These
players have shown what they are made of. With everything that has happened,
they haven't let anything bother them. I expect them to go out and continue
Washington will hand the ball to lefty Derek Holland on Friday, as he tries to
win his fourth consecutive decision. Holland beat the Detroit Tigers on
Saturday, despite walking five batters. Still, he improved to 8-4 in the win
and lowered his ERA to 3.08.
"I just have to start the second half strong," Holland said. "I want to
continue what I've been doing."
Holland beat the Orioles two starts ago and is 4-1 lifetime versus them with a
3.66 ERA in six games (5 starts).
Texas split a four-game series with the O's last week.
The Sports Network