The Baltimore Orioles have been searching for a consistent designated hitter all season, and although Danny Valencia had his chances earlier in the year, Valencia has grabbed a hold of the everyday DH spot. Valencia has been on an unbelievable hot streak over the past two months and Baltimore is reaping from it.
Valencia, who has had a frequent traveler card for the train from Baltimore to Norfolk all season, has finally resolved the Orioles DH problem. He is currently in the midst of an amazing hot streak and the Orioles are enjoying the ride.
Since August 4th, Valencia is hitting .473 with four home runs and 13 RBI, but the most important stat (other than the absurdly high batting average) is that he has has an on base percentage of .500. Yes that means Valencia is getting on base every other time he comes to the plate, and that is huge for an offense that is not known for its' on base percentage.
Valencia has recorded a hit in 13 of his last 16 games and in nine of those games he had multi hit efforts.
In addition to simply being red hot is that he is coming up with big hits.
Last night was a perfect example as he led off the ninth inning of a tie ball game, one of which the Orioles had to win, with a triple that set up the game winning sac fly. It was the second straight game that Valencia had one of the key hits of the game as Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, he hit a crucial two run two out double that gave the Birds the lead that they would not relinquish.
Valencia is known as a left handed killer with the bat, and this season has been no different as he is hitting .378 against lefties this season with four homers and 11 RBI. Lately, Valencia is also hitting right handers extremely well, which has led Manager Buck Showalter to basically writing his name in ink on the lineup card.
Want some more good news? Baltimore has 9 games remaining with the Red Sox and Blue Jays, and Valencia is hitting .529 with five extra base hits against the Red Sox this season and is hitting .455 against the Rays.
If Valencia can keep this up, which is hard to expect, his performance is going to go a long way in determining whether or not the Orioles will make the postseason for the second straight season. One thing is for certain, Valencia is going to be in the lineup everyday until he proves otherwise.
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