It’s finally over. After seven walks, 28 strikeouts, and a disconcerting .000 batting average through 54 hitless at-bats and 62 plate appearances, Chris Davis recorded his first hit since September 14, 2018.
The fortuitous moment arrived in the first inning of the Orioles-Red Sox game on Saturday. Boston right-hander Rick Porcello loaded the bases on a Trey Mancini double and two walks to Dwight Smith and Rio Ruiz and was looking for an inning-ending out when Davis stepped up to the plate. Instead, Davis lofted a 92.9-m.p.h. fastball into the right field gap, scoring both Mancini and Smith with his first hit of the 2019 season.
Prior to Davis’ long-awaited two-run single, the Orioles’ infielder carried the longest hitless streak by a position player in MLB history, a burden that was previously shouldered by utility player Eugenio Vélez in 2011. Vélez went 0-for-46 between his 2010 and 2011 stints with the Giants and Dodgers and has not appeared in a major-league game since.
The Orioles currently lead the Red Sox 2-0 in the third.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.