Davis' slam sets tone for O's big offensive day

Slugger ties Robinson for 9th on club's all-time HR list

Davis' slam sets tone for O's big offensive day

BALTIMORE -- Orioles slugger Chris Davis had the option to take Sunday off to get two days of rest with Monday's off-day looming. It wasn't an ideal matchup against Rays lefty Drew Smyly, whom he entered 2-for-16 against with 10 strikeouts and two home runs in his career.

But Davis, who ranks third among first baseman in the All-Star voting, chose to stay in the lineup as the designated hitter. He delivered in the first inning with a grand slam to give the Orioles a lead they wouldn't relinquish in a 12-5 win over the Rays.

"Chris never ducks anybody," manager Buck Showalter said. "Believe me, I've had some really good players who, all things being equal, would have probably chose to watch the game today. Chris never does that."

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The grand slam was the seventh of his career, all of which have come since 2011. He has the most in the Majors during that stretch, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

After swinging and missing badly on two sliders to start the at-bat, Davis sliced a 1-2 fastball inside the left-field foul pole. His 18th homer of the season is his 179th as an Oriole, placing him in a tie with Frank Robinson for ninth place on the club's all-time list.

"After I got two strikes on me I was trying to see the ball up. [Smyly] threw a fastball out over the plate, and I got enough of it to hit it out," Davis said. "I was glad to come back and have a productive at-bat after two not-very-aggressive swings."

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.