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With First Win Under His Belt, Dan Straily Looks To Solidify Orioles' Rotation

April 16, 2019
Right-hander Dan Straily was not overly concerned about his slow start to the season.

He was released by the Miami Marlins late in spring training and signed with the Orioles April 5. 

Straily made his debut two days later at Camden Yards and allowed five runs and five hits, including a pair of homers, in 1.1 innings against the New York Yankees. He started his first game April 10 against Oakland and gave up five runs and eight hits, including two more home runs, during 3.1 innings. 

"I feel like I'm finishing up spring training right now, which is a tough place to be because it counts," he said after the game against the Athletics. "It's not like we're up here getting ready anymore."

Straily responded with a bounce-back performance against the Boston Red Sox April 15 when he retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. Straily (1-1) picked up the win after allowing just one run and two hits over five innings. 

"That's more of what I expect of myself each time out and what I've been bringing to the table, that's a lot more of what I expect out of myself when I take the ball every fifth day," he told reporters after the game. "But no matter what I think, it just shows me that what I was working on is working. Instead of still trying to get back to myself, I was able to just go out there and pitch."

Orioles pitchers have been uneven so far this season and have given up a league-high 40 home runs. If Straily can stay consistent, he would be a huge boost to the rotation. During the past three seasons (495.1 innings), he had a 4.03 ERA with 7.8 strikeouts against 3.4 walks per nine innings.

The performance against the Red Sox was a huge step forward in helping the Orioles solidify their pitching staff.

"I thought Dan mixed three pitches really well," manager Brandon Hyde said after the Red Sox game. "He was totally unpredictable. He got a lot of ground balls, a lot of guys out in front. He pitched ahead to most hitters, so I just thought it was a nice pitching performance." 

Chris Davis Breaks Out

With one swing of the bat, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis awoke from his private nightmare and the Orioles' front office could breathe a sigh of relief.

Davis snapped an MLB-record 0-for-54 skid with a two-run single off Boston right-hander Rick Porcello in the first inning of the Orioles' 9-5 win April 13. Davis went 3-for-5 with four RBIs in that game and then hit his first home run of the season two days later in an 8-1 victory.

With the infamous streak behind him, Davis can now relax a bit more at the plate. The Orioles have remained committed to getting him back on track.

Davis has shown his commitment by taking extra swings in the cage prior to the rest of the team taking batting practice. He is now batting .089, but he's trending in the right direction.  

"This game is long, it's hard and it'll test you mentally, physically, emotionally," he told reporters after the April 15 Red Sox game. "You've got to be able to turn the page, you've got to be able to look forward and kind of put what happened behind you and move on. I think this team has done a great job of that so far, and it's going to be a test for us moving forward."