Orioles' Davis ends 0-for-54 streak, asks for ball

BOSTON -- Baltimore's Chris Davis ended an MLB-record 0-for-54 skid with his first hit of the season Saturday, dropping in a two-run single in the first inning off Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

Davis clapped his hands and called for the ball after reaching base to end the longest hitless streak by a non-pitcher in major league history. It began last season on Sept. 15, 2018.

"There's no way to put into words what I was feeling when I looked back at our bench and saw them going crazy," Davis said. "That's been the biggest pick-me-up moment in the whole thing. Just having the guys day in and day out pick me up, help me stay in a positive mindset. That's what it's all about."

He finished the Orioles' 9-5 win with three hits -- adding an RBI double in the fifth inning and another double in the eighth for his first multihit game since Sept. 4, 2018.

"It felt good to contribute today and finally see some hits fall," Davis said. "Hard work's paying off; I knew it would. ... There was definitely a significant weight lifted off my shoulders."

Davis confirmed after the game that he did get the ball after the first-inning hit, and he plans to get it authenticated.

"I talked to one of our coaches before the game and asked him -- I said, 'You think that's bush if I get the ball?'" Davis said. "He said, 'Absolutely not.' He said, 'I think it's a very pro move.'

"I mean, it meant a lot to me. That's a long time without getting a hit. And yeah, I don't know what I'm gonna do with [the ball], but I'm gonna do something special."

Before his hit Saturday, Davis, in the fourth season of a seven-year, $161 million contract, had been 0-for-33 with 16 strikeouts to begin this season.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, there were 6,977 hits by 577 different players (including 57 pitchers) since Davis last got a hit -- a double off James Shields on Sept. 14, 2018.

The streak, which lasted 210 days, ended with Davis' 11th career hit off Porcello -- tied for his second-most against any pitcher.

"You're just pulling for him," manager Brandon Hyde said. "I talk about it every day, but that's part of my job, and I'm OK with that. Things happen. It's not about me; it's about Chris and his well-being and his mindset and what he's going through.

"When you're with somebody for 12 hours a day, and you see the work they are putting in, and it wasn't paying off until today. It's a great feeling to watch him do what he did today."

Davis, 33, is looking to regain his All-Star form from 2013, when he drove in 138 RBIs and hit 53 home runs. He hit at least 26 home runs the four seasons after that but regressed dramatically last season, posting a career-worst .168 batting average with 49 RBIs and 16 home runs.

"I think the biggest thing for me is just not having the headache of having to answer questions and having my teammates have to answer questions," Davis said about the end of the streak. "... We've kind of turned the page now and really focused on the team."