Davis hits 37th homer in Orioles' victory

Todd Karpovich, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- After watching Baltimore's Chris Davis smash his 37th home run of the season, Toronto manager John Gibbons described the Orioles first baseman as "superhuman."
Davis homered for the fourth consecutive game, extending his major league lead in that category, and the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 on Sunday.
Davis tied Reggie Jackson for the most home runs in the American League before the All-Star Game. He also knocked in four runs and joined Detroit's Miguel Cabrera as the only players in major-league history to have both 30 home runs and 90 RBIs before the break.
With the victory, the Orioles took two of three games against struggling Blue Jays, who have lost 13 of their past 20 games.
"I think it's something definitely to be proud of," Davis said. "It means I've been doing my job, but it also speaks volumes about the guys in front of me and really swinging the bats well. I feel like we've consistently all year swung the bats really well. When guys are having a little bit of a down drought or whatever you want to call it, somebody else has stepped in and picked them up, and that's huge. Hopefully, we can keep that going in the second half."
Scott Feldman (1-1), who was acquired by the Orioles on July 2 for right-hander Jake Arrieta and lefty Pedro Strop, picked up his first win for Baltimore, allowing three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 7 1/3 innings.
Adam Jones also got his 19th home run and knocked in two runs for the Orioles. Jones went 6-for-9 in the series with three homers and six RBIs.
Toronto starter Josh Johnson (1-5) had another shaky outing and allowed seven runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over six innings.
Maicer Izturis had three RBIs for the Blue Jays, who head into the break as the only team in the American League East with fewer than 50 wins.
"It's definitely frustrating," Gibbons said. "These four days will be good for us. Little breather, regroup and find out what we're made of and how good we are in the second half."
Johnson struggled early against Baltimore's explosive lineup. He allowed the Orioles to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Jones and J.J. Hardy and a double by Davis that scored two runners.
Davis then extended the lead to 6-0 with a two-run homer to left-center in the third. The Blue Jays were able to cut the deficit to 6-2 on a two-run single by Izturis in the fourth, but Feldman remained in control. Jones homered in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-2.
"It seemed like I couldn't catch a break," Johnson said. "I threw pretty good pitches, they just got base hits. Not a good pitch to Davis. He's just hot right now. He's hitting everything and I've just got to make a better pitch."
Tommy Hunter entered in the eighth and allowed an RBI single to Edwin Encarnacion that pulled Toronto to within four. Izturis provided another RBI single off Hunter in the ninth before Jim Johnson closed out the game for Baltimore with 33rd save.
"It was a 'W' for Baltimore, and that's what it's about," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Grinding like heck through the season, all the challenges, and now we've got a chance to roll the dice with 66 games and let's see if we can play in October. That's what it's all about. We've positioned ourselves to have a chance to compete for that opportunity."
NOTES: Blue Jays RHP J.A. Happ began his rehab assignment Saturday in the Gulf Coast League and pitched four innings, allowing four hits and two runs (both unearned). ... Blue Jays LHP Brett Cecil and RHP Steve Delabar head to New York after Sunday's game against the Orioles for this year's All-Star Game. It marks the first time that a team has sent two relievers to the All-Star Game when neither one has more than one save. ... Orioles RHP Chris Tillman was named to the American League All-Star team Sunday. He is replacing Justin Verlander, who made his regularly scheduled start for the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. ... Hardy joined Cal Ripken, Miguel Tejada and Mike Bordick as the only Orioles shortstops with at least 60 homers and 200 RBIs.

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