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Davis homers to lead Orioles to win over Blue Jays

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Chris Davis was relieved to hit his 50th home run of the season on Friday.

He was gratified that it meant so much to the Baltimore Orioles, who entered the day 2 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot.

Davis led off a two-run eighth inning with his milestone blast to center to propel the Orioles to a comeback 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and snap a three-game losing streak.

"It's nice to have personal goals and to reach your own goals," Davis said. "But when the team is winning and you are successful, it makes it that much sweeter. It was big to come from behind and get the win."

It came against Toronto reliever Steve Delabar (5-4) on a 2-2 pitch and gave the Orioles the lead after they had tied the game with a three-run seventh.

"Everybody pulls so hard for him because he's such a good teammate and so humble about the good things that he's had happen to him this year," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's just an easy guy to pull for."

Davis admits to thinking about reaching 50. "It was in the back of my mind," he said. "When you get close, you think about it more than you probably should."

"He's having a great year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's so strong he hits them anywhere. It's got nothing to do with the park here. Some guys get some cheapies here, he doesn't get any cheapies. The thing that makes him so good, he can hit them everywhere."

Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus hit homers for the Blue Jays (67-80), who took a 3-0 lead before going on to lose their fourth game in a row.

Toronto right-hander Todd Redmond held the Orioles (78-69) to three hits and one run while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings but did not factor in the decision.

"I know my guys pretty good and the plan was there if he ran into any trouble, I was going to go get him," Gibbons said. "It backfired."

Redmond had not gone longer than six innings this season, but he used only 75 pitches in Friday's outing.

"That was kind of uncharted waters for him (Redmond)," Gibbons said. "He threw a whale of a game. We just didn't get any outs. That was originally the plan anyway."

"I felt real good today," Redmond said. "I was able to keep the ball down and keep the hitters off balance. The split was working and being able to hit both sides of the plate with it was good. Whenever Gibby decides to take me out, it's his choice. I had no idea how many pitches I had until somebody told me when I got in. You've got the adrenalin flowing and you definitely want to stay in."

Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel allowed three hits and three runs in five innings and did not factor in the decision. He is still seeking his first win since May 27.

Adam Jones led off the seventh with a double and took third on a groundout. Dustin McGowan replaced Redmond and allowed a run-scoring double by J.J. Hardy, who extended his hit streak to six games.

With two out, Steve Clevenger hit a line drive to right. Moises Sierra got a poor jump, took a bad route and the ball bounced over his head. The two-run double tied the game.

Davis gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead when he led off the eighth with a home run against Delabar after the Blue Jays lost an appeal on a checked swing on the previous pitch.

"I thought we had him on that check swing earlier and then he hits the home run," Gibbons said. "We didn't get the call there."

"He's doing it man," said Rasmus, who watched Davis' homer sail well over his head. "I guess he went through some things with the Rangers and he got to a good place that's good for him mentally, physically he's just doing his thing."

Davis is the third player in major league history to hit 50 home runs and 40 doubles in the same season. Babe Ruth (1921) and Albert Belle (1995) were the others.

"It's ridiculous," Hammel said. "He's in pretty rare company."

The Orioles added a run in the eighth on an infield single by Jones, a two-out intentional walk to Ryan Flaherty and a single by Danny Valencia.

Tommy Hunter (5-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings to earn the win. He entered the game in the home seventh with one out and runners at the corners and ended the threat with two strikeouts.

Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 44th save.

NOTES: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 20,024. ... Rasmus (left oblique strain) was activated from the disabled list for the game and started. He had not played since Aug. 11. ... Encarnacion (left wrist sprain) started at DH after missing four games. ... The Orioles selected the contract of INF Dan Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk to replace the left-handed bat of OF Henry Urrutia, who is not in Canada with the team because of visa issues. ... Baltimore native Clevenger made his first start with the Orioles to spell C Matt Wieters. ... RHP Esmil Rogers (5-7, 4.46 ERA) will start for Toronto on Saturday against Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman (16-5, 3.66 ERA).
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