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With the win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday, Baltimore is now 3-1 and in first place in the AL East. Chris Davis, who hit seven homers in the final seven games of last season (including playoffs), has four home runs and 16 RBIs in the first four games of 2013.
Davis is hitting the ball like few players in baseball history have this early into the season.
HR in 1st 4 Games of Season
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Davis is the fourth player to homer in each of his team’s first four games. No player in major league history has gone deep in his team’s first five games.
Davis is the first player to hit a homer and drive in at least three runs in four straight games -- at any point in the season -- since Bill Dickey did it in 1937.
And Davis’ 16 RBIs are easily the most for any player through his first four team games since the RBI became an official stat in 1920, according to Elias.
Three of Davis’ four homers have come on pitches on the outer third of the plate or farther outside, and he is a robust 5-for-8 in at bats ending in those pitches.
Davis has shown this type of power on pitches away in the past. Last year, he ranked among the top 10 in slugging percentage (.466) and home runs (12) on outside pitches.
His grand slam on Friday to break a 5-5 tie in the eighth inning was just the second of his career, the other coming last year off Ivan Nova on July 31. The last Oriole with a tie-breaking grand slam in the eighth inning or later was Harold Baines in 1999 with a walk-off grand slam against the Chicago White Sox.
The Orioles continue their series with the Twins on Saturday night, with Minnesota sending righty Vance Worley to the mound. Davis has faced Worley just three times in his career, going 0-for-2 with a walk last year.
Davis has been locked in against right-handed pitchers this season. He is 7-for-8 with three doubles and two homers versus righties, and has missed on just two of his 16 swings.
He has shown significant improvement making contact versus right-handers this year. Last year, his miss percentage of 31.9 percent was the fifth-highest among left-handed batters versus right-handed pitchers, and his 136 strikeouts were second-most behind Danny Espinosa.