The young right-hander will face the same team he dominated less than two weeks ago when the Rays try to hand the Baltimore Orioles a 12th straight loss Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay’s third-round draft pick in 2004, Davis earned the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year honors in 2007. The Rays promoted the 24-year-old Sept. 2 from Triple-A Durham, where he went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 24 starts this season.
This will be Davis’ second career start against Baltimore. He was masterful in the first, striking out 10 - including the side in the ninth inning - while pitching a four-hitter in a 3-0 victory Sept. 17. Manager Joe Maddon left him in to complete the game in 124 pitches.
“I am a firm believer that a young guy like that, if he has a chance to throw a complete game and a shutout, it can really catapult him,” Maddon said.
The Orioles (60-96) admitted they didn’t know what to expect against Davis the first time they saw him.
Davis did not get a decision last Wednesday against Seattle after yielding four runs over 5 2-3 innings of the Rays’ 5-4 victory.
Baltimore is trying to avoid losing 12 straight for the first time since Aug. 16-28, 2004. The Orioles need three wins in their final six games to avoid 100 losses for the first time since 1988.
“I’ve never put myself ahead of anybody,” manager Dave Trembley said. “I don’t feel sorry for myself. We do the very best we can. My responsibility is to prepare them to play hard, be professional. Put guys into situations where I think they can be successful. And if anybody would have the guts to step up and tell me I haven’t done that, I’d tell them (you’re wrong).”
Tampa Bay (80-76) homered four times and got a go-ahead sacrifice fly from Pat Burrell(notes) in the eighth inning Monday to win 7-6 in the opener of this four-game set. The Rays rallied from a 6-3 deficit for the second straight game, including Sunday’s 7-6 victory at Texas.
Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (10-16, 5.10) will try to end a slide in which he is 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in his last three outings. He gave up seven runs over seven innings last Wednesday in a 7-3 loss at Toronto.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.32 ERA in four career starts at Tropicana Field, where he has not pitched this year. Guthrie won his lone start against Tampa Bay in 2009, giving up five hits over six innings of a 6-0 home victory April 11.