May 21, 2014

Chris Davis had been relatively disappointing this season before reminding everyone how potent his bat can be in the Baltimore Orioles' victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Davis could be in for another power display Wednesday night, given how susceptible Wandy Rodriguez has been to the long ball this year.

A 9-2 win Tuesday was the Orioles' sixth straight in the series. Davis hit three home runs, matching his total through his first 30 games, for his second career three-homer effort.

Davis, third in the AL MVP voting in 2013 after leading baseball with 53 homers, came in slugging .365 with one extra base hit in his last seven contests. He's now 10 for 18 in four career games against Pittsburgh with five home runs and 10 RBIs.

"I got here early today and worked on some stuff in early (batting practice)," Davis said. "It just sometimes clicks for you and today was one of those days."

Nelson Cruz hit his 13th homer of the season and third in six games, while Adam Jones added two hits to extend his major league-leading hitting streak to 14. He's batting .356 with 12 RBIs during the streak.

Trying to prevent another power display by the Orioles (23-20) on Wednesday will be Rodriguez (0-2, 6.84 ERA), though he's failed to do that against other teams this season. He's surrendered nine home runs in 25 innings for a career-worst average of 3.24 per nine.

Both runs he allowed in five innings of a 4-3 loss in Milwaukee on Thursday came on solo shots. It was his first start in nearly a month after being sidelined with right knee inflammation.

"I only made two mistakes today," the left-hander said.

Rodriguez lost his only previous start against Baltimore, allowing four runs over six innings of a 5-1 road defeat with Houston on June 15, 2005.

Davis is 0 for 2 against him.

Looking to deal the Pirates (18-26) their seventh loss in nine games will be Chris Tillman (4-2, 3.34), who comes off his first career shutout. He limited Kansas City to five hits in a 4-0 road victory Friday, issuing one walk after walking 16 over his previous five starts and posting a 6.49 ERA in that span.

"I've been struggling a bit recently," Tillman told the team's official website. "We've been putting in a lot of hard work, not just me but everybody. It's good to see (the results)."

Tillman didn't receive a decision in a 6-5 win over the Pirates on May 1, yielding three runs over 5 2-3 innings while striking out a season-high eight.

Andrew McCutchen was 2 for 3 on Tuesday and has batted .484 in nine career games against the Orioles. However, Pittsburgh was 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the loss and is 9 for 58 (.155) during its 2-6 stretch.

Nick Markakis has recorded at least a hit in all nine career matchups with Pittsburgh after singling Tuesday, while J.J. Hardy is batting .462 with seven RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak in the series.

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