Eddie MatzESPN Senior Writer
BALTIMORE — Somewhere, Eugenio Velez is toasting.
Baltimore OriolessluggerChris Daviswent 0-for-3 in his first three plate appearances against the Oakland A’s on Monday night, extending his hitless streak to 47 consecutive at-bats. In doing so, he broke Eugenio Velez’s record for the longest hitless streak by a position player in major league history, according to data from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Velez, a former utility man, started his streak by going hitless in his final nine at-bats for theSan Francisco Giantsduring the 2010 season. In 2011, his final year in the majors, he had 37 at-bats with theLos Angeles Dodgersand failed to record a hit.
Facing Oakland starterMarco Estradato lead off the top of the second inning, Davis hit a 92 mph liner that A’s right fielderStephen Piscottycaught. In his second at-bat, with two on and one out in the third, Davis tied Velez’s record by hitting a 91 mph fastball to left thatRobbie Grossmangloved. In his third trip, facing relieverYusmeiro Petitin the fifth inning, Davis set the new record with a 104 mph lineout that sent Grossman racing back to the warning track.
In stark contrast to the heavy boos he received during the O’s home opener on Thursday, Davis got a warm reception from the tiny Monday night crowd at Camden Yards, which greeted him with ovations in each of his first two trips to the plate. The announced attendance was 6,585 for a new Camden Yards record. The previous record of 7,915 was set on April 9, 2018.
The Baltimore first baseman hasn’t recorded a hit since doubling against White Sox hurlerJames Shieldson Sept. 14 of last year. He went hitless over his final 21 at-bats of the 2018 campaign, then started this season by going 0-for-23 with 13 strikeouts over the Orioles’ first nine games, prior to Monday.
Davis led the majors with 53 home runs in 2013, when he finished third in the voting for American League MVP. In 2015, he led the league again with 47 homers. Following that season, Davis signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Orioles. Since then, he’s been a huge disappointment. He set an MLB record last season by hitting .168, the lowest average ever by a qualified hitter.