How hot is Chris Davis through his first 5 games? How about 10 for 18 (.556) with 4 HR and 17 RBI? One would think he would be part of some sort of playstation video game up to this point, but as an attribute to the O's early success, he is just the 4th player in history to HR in all 4 of his first four contests. However yesterday he made a costly error failing to retrieve a ground ball that eventually led to a game winning RBI single by Justin Morneau that helped the Twins edge out a 6-5 victory. Despite going homerless yesterday, Davis can set a club record on Sunday if he can drive in a run for the 6th consecutive game. Morneau wound up with 3 hits and 2 runs scored.
Pedro Hernandez gets the ball this afternoon making his debut. Pitching as a reliever during spring training of course a part of the trade that sent Francisco Liriano to the White Sox, he is spotting forCole De Vries who is battling a forearm injury. A tough task is no question ahead of him starting at Camden Yards facing the likes of a surging Davis, as well as Adam Jones and Nick Markakis who had 4 hits yesterday and are due to put up some power numbers early in the season.
Opposite Hernandez will be right-hander Jason Hammel in his second start for the Orioles (3-2). Hammel yielded three runs on three hits while going six innings in Baltimore's 7-4 win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. The Twins, like Baltimore are also off to a 3-2 start and can take their first road series with a win this afternoon. Run support should not be an issue for Hammel, however the heart of the Twins lineup in Mauer, Doumit, Plouffe and WIllingham are off to slow starts.
We expect the ball to carry this afternoon with reasonable odds to support this play. Morneau has proven to be comfortable at the plate despite battling injuries over the past few seasons while it will only be a matter of time before his supporting cast puts together a complete performance at the plate. Hernandez needs to weather a storm of tough hitters and control problems if he can;t go deep enough, and that could lead to a barrage of runs early by Davis and company. Best of luck however you play!