Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chris Davis Hits 50th Home Run of Season as Orioles Rally to Down the Blue Jays

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chris Davis Hits 50th Home Run of Season as Orioles Rally to Down the Blue Jays

Article excerpt

Davis hits 50th homer as Orioles down Jays

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TORONTO - On a night when the Blue Jays got some of their power back in the lineup, Chris Davis stole the show.

The Baltimore slugger hit his 50th home run of the season in the eighth inning Friday night to snap a 3-3 tie as the Orioles rallied with five unanswered runs to defeat Toronto 5-3.

"He's having a great year," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "He's so strong he hits them anywhere, it's got nothing to do with the park here. Some guys will get some cheapies here. He doesn't get any cheapies.

"The thing that makes him so good is he hits them everywhere. Even in that home-run hitting contest in the all-star game, he was the only guy hitting some home runs to the opposite field. He's dangerous.

"I thought we might have had him on a checked swing earlier. And then he hits a home run. We didn't get the call there."

Davis flied out deep to centre in the first inning, struck out in the third and flied out to left in the sixth before slamming a pitch from reliever Steve Delabar over the centre-field fence to lead off the eighth for a 4-3 lead.

"I knew I barrelled it up," said Davis. "I tried to go the other way there with two strikes. I've faced Steve a few times. You can't look for his split, as hard as he throws. I was just trying to put a good swing on it and stay through it."

Visiting fan Steve Houff of Ellicott City, Md., who got the home run ball from a Jays fan for US$100, exchanged it with Davis for a signed bat and ball.

Baltimore added another run in the inning when Danny Valencia singled home Adam Jones.

Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus returned to the Toronto lineup, with Encarnacion scoring and Rasmus homering. But it wasn't enough as the Orioles (78-69) snapped a three-game losing streak, keeping their wild-card hopes alive while handing Toronto (67-80) its fourth consecutive loss.

Baltimore also evened its 2013 record against the Jays to 7-7.

It was Davis' seventh home run against the Blue Jays this season -- and his 16th since the start of the 2012 season. And it tied the Orioles' single-season home run record by Brady Anderson in 1996.

Davis is the first player to hit 50 homers since Jose Bautista (with 54) did it in 2010.

The 27-year-old first baseman becomes the third player in major league history to hit 50 home runs and 40 doubles in a season. The only others to accomplish the feat are Babe Ruth (59 homers and 44 doubles in 1921) and Albert Belle (52 and 50 in 1995).

"It's a humbling feeling to be in the same company with the guys I'm in," said Davis.

Davis, who hit 33 homers last year for the Orioles, leads the majors in home runs this season.

Trailing 3-0, Baltimore sent eight men to the plate in the seventh inning to tie the game. Homers by Adam Lind and Rasmus had given Toronto the lead. …

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