Chris Davis might have hit the quietest home run for the home team in Orioles history.
As the slugger pounded the ball deep onto Eutaw Street, just a few feet from where fans normally would have sprinted after a chance to catch a souvenir, there was almost nothing to hear.
The only muffled cheers came from a pocket of diehards locked out of Camden Yards yelling “Let’s Go O’s!”
On this day, 30,000 Orioles fans had been muted. The wild applause had been silenced. There were no fans to stand for a standing ovation. Just Davis’ teammates in the dugout coming over for high-fives.
“When you’re rounding the bases, and the only cheers you hear were from outside the stadium,” he said, “it’s a weird feeling.”
Baseball in Baltimore was closed to the public Wednesday. The shutout in the final score was in the attendance total: Orioles 8, White Sox 2, Fans 0.
MLB decided to play the game behind closed doors because of looting and rioting around Camden Yards that broke out amid tensions between residents and police. The turmoil prompted a citywide curfew and began hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.
The game was one of the oddest in history, brought alive only by sounds that were unmasked by the absence of fans’ voices. The Orioles’ souvenir shop was closed. A sign on the door said, “Dear Loyal Orioles Fans Our store is closed today. We will reopen on tomorrow [at] 10:00 AM.”
The unrest from the past week wasn’t forgotten. Outside Camden Yards, Brendan Hurson carried a sign that read, “Don’t Forget Freddie Gray,” with the O’s in the shape of the Orioles’ logo.
He wished the Orioles let fans into the park.
“It would have been a nice chance to show the world that we are a city that’s going to move forward from this. Not move on, but move forward. And they blew it.”
The fans who hunkered beyond the fence went wild when Davis went deep in the first inning — because just like the ball, they were outta here.
“I’ll take any home run I can get at any time I can get it,” he said, “but it’s definitely more fun where there are fans in the stands.”
Red Sox make moves
The Red Sox promoted right-hander Dalier Hinojosa and left-hander Tommy Layne from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday before their game against Toronto. To make room on the roster, the club sent outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Pawtucket and designated right-hander Anthony Varvaro for assignment.
Bradley, 25, was recalled Tuesday, but didn’t get in an 11-8 loss to the Blue Jays.
Scherzer comes back
Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has recovered from a sprained right thumb and will make his next start on Friday against the New York Mets.
Scherzer, who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract as a free agent in January, missed his scheduled start Tuesday against Atlanta after injuring his thumb while batting last week. But Washington manager Matt Williams said that Scherzer felt no lingering problems after his bullpen session the previous day.
Scherzer is 1-2 with a 1.26 ERA in four starts.