During the postgame television interview, the rookie got a shaving-cream pie to the face from Tampa Bay teammates Matt Garza(notes) and Evan Longoria(notes). That was followed by a beer shower in the clubhouse.
With Davis leading the way, the Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Thursday night to salvage a split of the four-game series.
Making his third big league start, Davis (1-1) struck out 10 and walked two in his first complete game. The right-hander worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, then permitted only one runner past first base over the final eight innings.
Davis capped his outstanding performance by striking out the side in the ninth. He threw 124 pitches.
Then came the antics. It was only the second win in 15 games for the Rays, who desperately needed a reason to smile.
“The shaving cream didn’t taste very good,” Davis said. “But it’s fun. It’s supposed to be.”
The 24-year-old was coming off a horrid outing in Boston in which he yielded eight runs in 2 2-3 innings. His effort against the Orioles lowered his ERA from 8.38 to 4.34.
Davis outdid seven Baltimore pitchers, led by Mark Hendrickson(notes) (5-5), who gave up two runs and five hits over 3 1-3 innings in his first start since May 12. The left-hander was removed from the rotation after going 1-4, then made 42 relief appearances before returning as a starter in place of rookie Brian Matusz(notes), who has been shut down for the remainder of the season.
Hendrickson is 1-5 as a starter and 4-0 out of the bullpen.
Baltimore wasted an opportunity to grab an early lead. After a walk, a double and another walk loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, Nick Markakis hit into a forceout at the plate, Melvin Mora(notes) struck out and Luke Scott(notes) hit a routine fly to right.
“The first inning, you couldn’t have scripted it any better, the way we started the game,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “But then when you get nothing out of it, boy, he’s got to take a deep breath and go, ‘OK, here we go. Lady Luck’s on my side tonight.”’
As the game wore on, the only suspense was whether Davis would go the distance.
“I was just trying to get to the sixth, just battle it out,” he said. “When I had the real quick inning in the seventh and eighth, I figured I could go out there and do it again.”
Manager Joe Maddon was happy to let him try.
“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.
Tampa Bay went up 1-0 in the third. With two outs, Jason Bartlett(notes) hit a sinking liner to left that bounced to the wall after Nolan Reimold’s(notes) ill-advised bid to make a sliding catch. Bartlett was credited with a triple, and Carl Crawford(notes) followed with an RBI single.
Longoria’s third hit of the game, an RBI single in the ninth, made it 3-0.
NOTES: Tampa Bay CF Fernando Perez(notes) ran into the wall after making an outstanding running catch of a third-inning drive by Brian Roberts(notes). He left the game in the 7th with a sore left wrist. … The Rays play 12 of their final 15 games at home. … Trembley was ejected in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes. It was his fourth ejection of the season.