No homers, no problem for Chris Davis

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When he’s not winning games as a reliever, Chris Davis is pretty much known as a home run guy. He hit three of them in a win over Toronto on Aug. 24, and he homered in six games in a row coming down the stretch, helping the Orioles lock up a wild card bid in the process. He ended up with 33 bombs in 515 at-bats for the season.  Of his 85 RBI, 55 came on homers.

So, who would have guessed two games into the ALDS, he’d have four hits, all of them singles? One of the two from Monday knocked in two runs and aided the Orioles in defeating the Yankees 3-2 to even up the best-of-five series.

Davis has played in 436 regular-season games since coming up with the Rangers in 2008. He had two singles in 51 of them, so just better than one time every nine games. He did it back-to-back games a total of four times: once in 2008, once in 2009 and twice this May. He’s never had two singles in three consecutive games.

For comparison’s sake, Davis had 144 games of at least two strikeouts. Eliminating the singles requirement, he had 107 games with two or more hits.

What makes Davis’ performance doubly impressive is that he’s had to face CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte the first two games. He doesn’t have a pronounced lefty-righty splits, but as a left-handed hitter, that’s a nice duo to be racking up four hits against. He’ll get to face righties the next two games, with the Yankees slated to throw Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes in New York.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.