Davis returns to Orioles after suspension
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Chris Davis went 0 for 3 and was hit by a pitch in his return to the Baltimore Orioles after a 25-game suspension for a positive amphetamine test.
Davis, who led the major leagues with 53 home runs in 2013, was reinstated from the restricted list for Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay after completing the suspension during the Orioles' opener against the Rays.
''I was a little fired up,'' Davis said after the Orioles' 6-5 victory. ''You try and calm yourself down as much you can. I was kind of overswinging a little bit early, but I settled down during the game.''
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter liked what he saw.
''I feel confident there's good things to come,'' he said.
There was a smattering of boos and cheers from the fans that included a sizeable group of Baltimore supporters at Tropicana Field when Davis was announced during Baltimore's four-run first inning against Nathan Karns.
''It was good to get a warm reception from our fans,'' Davis said. ''I was just glad to get back in there.''
Davis grounded out, struck out, was hit by Karns' pitch and had an eighth-inning flyout to the right-field warning track.
''The perspective, I think you realize when something like the suspension comes up, it's really a privilege to be here and a blessing to play at this level each and every day,'' Davis said before the game.
''I mean, we work hard, day in and day out to prepare ourselves and to give ourselves the best opportunity to succeed, but at the end of the day, it's a privilege to be here and be a part of this team.''
Davis batted fifth as the designated hitter.
''It's been 209 days since he played in a major league game. So I know he's excited, and so are we have to him back,'' Showalter said. ''It's been a long road for him. He'd be the first to tell you it was self-inflicted, but I don't think anybody here doesn't think he paid a dear price for it.''
Davis lost $1,027,049 in pay during the suspension: $65,574 from his $12 million salary this year after missing out on $961,475 of his $10.35 million pay last year. He also lost the chance to earn a $150,000 bonus last year for reaching 600 plate appearances.
Showalter said Davis will play first base in Wednesday night's series finale.
''I'm excited to put all that behind me and move forward and start over again this year,'' Davis said.
To make room on the 25-man roster, Baltimore optioned catcher Steve Clevenger to Norfolk of the International League.
Davis sat out the final 17 games of the 2014 regular season and Baltimore's seven games in the playoffs. He said in January he had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder previously and been given a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Adderall, but he did not have a TUE last year.