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Sports

August 29, 2013

Put them in, coach

All friends Salty and Crush Davis needed was a chance

BOSTON — For friends Chris Davis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a big key to their success was getting to play every day.

That meant leaving Texas.

Davis, Baltimore’s slugging first baseman, leads the majors with 47 homers. He hit one last night against Boston. Saltalamacchia’s, Boston’s hairy starting catcher, entered last night tied for the Red Sox’ lead with 34 doubles.

Texas traded Saltalamacchia to Boston at the 2010 trade deadline and shipped Davis to Baltimore the day before the 2011 non-waiver deadline.

The change of scenery has worked wonders for both. Saltalamacchia has gotten better every year with the Sox and is someone Boston will look to retain as he is eligible for free agency this offseason. Davis, meanwhile, has become one of the game’s most dangerous power hitters and an MVP candidate. If he is able to maintain his home run lead, he will keep Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera from again hitting for the Triple Crown.

“I love Salty,” Davis said before yesterday’s game between Boston and Baltimore. “He was obviously a guy who I was close to when I was over there (in Texas) — a guy that I keep in contact with. And I was glad to see him get a chance to play every day over here. I think that was the biggest thing for both he and I.

“Neither one of us knew whether we were going to be in the starting lineup every day. When you know that, it takes a lot off your mind. You can go out there and just play. And he’s made the most of it as well as I have.”

Saltalamacchia said he is extremely proud of Davis.

“He was doing great in Triple-A and great in spring training and he’d get called up and get a shot and it was sporadic playing (time),” Saltalamacchia said. “He just never really got to get comfortable. He was kind of in the same situation I was in. So to see him come that far, I knew it was always there. He’s just such a good hitter.”

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