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Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis Suspended for Positive Drug Test

BALTIMORE — The Orioles’ likely charge into the postseason was dealt a setback when Major League Baseball announced Friday that Chris Davis, the slugging corner infielder, had been suspended 25 games after he tested positive for amphetamines.

The suspension, which is for a second offense, extends into the postseason. The Orioles, who beat the Yankees, 2-1, in the first game of a doubleheader, have 16 regular-season games remaining after that. Davis would miss at least eight postseason games, assuming the Orioles advance. Baseball’s division series are best of five; the American League Championship Series is best of seven.

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Davis, 28, tested positive for the stimulant Adderall, according to a person in baseball familiar with the test results. Like several other players in baseball, Davis previously held a therapeutic-use exemption that once allowed him to use it, but it ran out and he did not have clearance at the time of the testing. He is not appealing the suspension. If he had, M.L.B. would not be allowed to announce it.

The Orioles overcame the absence of Davis when Jimmy Paredes lined a two-out, two-run double to right field off Adam Warren with the bases loaded.

Chris Young, whose three-run home run in the ninth inning Thursday gave the Yankees a come-from-behind 5-4 victory, had hit a bases empty shot in the 11th. It was his third home run in seven games for the Yankees.

The Orioles, despite the loss of one of their most dangerous hitters, expanded their lead over the Toronto Blue Jays to 10½ games in the A.L. East entering Friday’s night schedule. But Davis still held the potential to change the course of a game with his mighty swing, a skill that is magnified in the playoffs.

“I think it’s disappointing,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m disappointed. I know Chris is, too. It is what it is. So we’re going to try to deal with it and move on. The timing is never good, but it’s one of those challenges. That’s why we have this in place, and we’re fully supportive of it. These are the things everybody knew about beforehand, and it’s another way we want the fans to be able to trust a lot of things.”

Showalter said Davis telephoned him at about 8 p.m. Thursday to notify him about the suspension.

A year ago, Davis hit 53 home runs, knocked in 138 runs and had 370 total bases, all highs in M.L.B. He batted .286 that year with a 1.004 on-base-plus slugging percentage. This year his numbers have declined. He has 26 home runs, 182 total bases and has struck out 173 times, the latter figure the highest in baseball. His O.P.S., so impressive last season, fell to .704 this year.

Davis is normally the Orioles’ first baseman, but he recently moved to third base after a season-ending knee injury to Manny Machado.

Davis was not at Camden Yards to address the situation Friday morning.

“In my situation, you got to learn to deal with the problems and challenges along the way,” Showalter said. “If they’re self-inflicted, there’s no, ‘Woe is me.’ And this is self-inflicted. But Chris, like he does a lot of things, you’re going to see in the next day or so, attack it head on. I’m sure he’ll address it. I know he called some of the players last night.”

source: nytimes.com
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