7/31/2013 12:05 A.M. ET
Starting at DH, Davis ends homerless drought
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis started at designated hitter against the Astros on Tuesday, getting his second off-day of sorts in a scheduled breather by manager Buck Showalter, who went with Ryan Flaherty at first base.
"Especially the guys who went to the All-Star Game, they haven't really had any down time," said Showalter of the move, which could help Davis break out of his second-half slump.
Breaking out of his slump is exactly what Davis did, drawing two walks and clubbing a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 win against the Astros. It was Davis 38th dinger of the year, snapping his homerless drought at 10 games and 16 days.
"Oh, I'm so happy. I can go home and sleep tonight and just eat food again. I don't have to wake up every three hours and cry," Davis said, joking.
Davis joked that he was finally getting the respect he deserved at DH, and the 27-year-old has taken his lull in stride after eclipsing a new career high in home runs (37) and RBIs (93) before the break.
"I think I've really been swinging at everything," said Davis, who is batting .220 (9-for-41) with one homer in the second half.
"When you're not real comfortable at the plate, tendency is to be a little too aggressive. And I think that's what's happened. I've always been a guy that strikes out a lot. I've done that for years. It's obviously not going to change, but as long as I'm getting my hits and driving in my runs, I think that's really the key point. I actually haven't been doing that either, but guys have been picking me up. And I'll get it figured out pretty soon."
Flaherty made his first start of the season at first base and has been taking ground balls there for the past week to help prepare. The 27-year-old has started just twice since July 13, but figures to get more playing time with second baseman Brian Roberts close to going on paternity leave.
"You try to simulate it when you are not in there," said Flaherty, who moved to the bench despite a hot stretch when Roberts came off the disabled list. "You try to take as many grounders as many pitches as you can, so you try to step right in and pick up where you left off."
Flaherty went 0-for-3 and is now hitting .213.
Showalter likes what he has as Deadline approaches
BALTIMORE -- With less than 24 hours until Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, Orioles manager Buck Showalter arrived 20 minutes late to his pregame session with reporters on Tuesday as he met with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to discuss potential scenarios.
The Orioles are in need of a starter and a designated hitter and are one of three teams thought to be in the running for Houston's Bud Norris -- who was scratched from Tuesday's start against the O's -- along with Arizona and Pittsburgh.
"I think [the Trade Deadline has] always been significant, because fans think it's some deadline if we don't do something this is what we are stuck with," Showalter said. "I like what we got, OK. And if Dan walks in and says, 'I don't like anything' ... I can tell you about a couple of trades that have been proposed and you would go, 'God, you are not going to do that are you?' So, you got to know who you are and where you are going and how you are going to do it."
The Orioles have already made a pair of moves in July in trading for starter Scott Feldman and reliever Francisco Rodriguez, but Duquette is aggressively pursuing upgrades and Baltimore has been linked to numerous rumors for both a bat and another starting pitcher. Last year, the club didn't do anything prior to the Deadline and then traded for Joe Saunders in August.
"It's really not a topic in the clubhouse because, one, they know there's nothing they can do about it, and two, they don't say things to reflect on their teammates. They are not going to talk about some position or part of the game that we are in need of," Showalter said. "There's not a perfect team out there ... got to be careful about spending too much time in somebody else's backyard and not in your own. That's where I try to keep my focus."
Machado OK after taking liner off forearm in BP
BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado was struck with a line drive during batting practice before Tuesday's game against the Astros, but the Orioles' third baseman was deemed OK and stayed in the starting lineup.
Machado, who took Adam Jones' sinking liner off his forearm area, walked off the field with one of the team's athletic trainers. Manager Buck Showalter said that the team could opt to do a precautionary X-ray, but didn't think it was necessary given the extent of the injury.
The 21-year-old Machado hasn't missed a start since he was promoted from Double-A Bowie last August, with the only innings missed a result of an ejection earlier this season.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.