Chris Davis tore through the first couple of weeks of the season before slowing down a bit, but he’s terrorizing pitchers once again. Davis went 3-for-5 with his major-league leading 16th homer last night as the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays 10-6 in Toronto.
Davis’ solo shot in the third inning was one of four home runs on the night for Baltimore, as J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, and Danny Valencia also went deep. The Orioles have hit at least four three homers in each of the past four games. It’s no surprise that they rank first in the majors in home runs and second in runs scored.
Davis has homered in three straight games and five out of his last seven. After enjoying a nice little breakout last season, the 27-year-old has taken things to a new level this year. He’s batting .337/.426/.723 with a 1.149 OPS through 47 games. Only Miguel Cabrera (1.154) has a higher OPS this season.
Your Friday box scores:
Phillies 2, Nationals 5
Cubs 4, Reds 7
Twins 0, Tigers 6
Indians 1, Red Sox 8
Pirates 1, Brewers 2
Yankees 9, Rays 4
Padres 2, Diamondbacks 5
Athletics 6, Astros 5
Marlins 3, White Sox 4 (11 innings)
Cardinals 7, Dodgers 0
Angels 5, Royals 2
Rockies 5, Giants 0
Rangers 9, Mariners 5
Braves 5, Mets 5 (suspended after eight innings due to rain, will resume Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET)
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.
The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.
The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.