Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/14/13
As his chase of the Orioles' single-season home run mark intensified it seemed like first baseman Chris Davis' bigger focus was doing his best to deflect the attention away from himself and toward his club's chase of a playoff berth. And when Davis swatted his 50th homer of the season — tying Brady Anderson's franchise record set in 1996 — the historic blast came at a perfect time breaking a late-inning tie in sending the Orioles to a much-needed 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays before an announced 20024 Friday night at Rogers Centre. Like so many of Davis' homers he took a good pitch — Toronto reliever Steve Delabar threw a 2-2 split-finger fastball on target low and away — got the barrel of his bat out and used his power to put ball into the seats in left-center. The homer gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead as they erased an early three-run deficit and kept their playoff hopes afloat with 15 games left in the regular season. With the win the Orioles (78-69) snapped a three-game losing streak — they dropped a trio of gut-wrenching games to the New York Yankees at home — and kept pace in the American League wild-card race. They remain 2 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot. “I've said it all along it's nice to have personal goals and to reach your own goals but when the team is winning that's what makes it that much sweeter” Davis said. “We've really battled the last couple of days. I think we had a couple of games where we were in them and we were able to seal the deal but tonight it was big to come from behind and get the win.” Davis' milestone homer broke a second-place tie on the franchise list with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson who hit 49 in his AL Triple Crown year in 1966. Anderson's 50th homer also came in Toronto. “He was grinding like heck to drive in that last one on a line drive to left [in the ninth]” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That's why everyone pulls so hard for him he's such a good teammate and so humble about the good things that have happened to him and with him. He's just an easy guy to pull for.” In the past 10 years only six other big leaguers have reached 50 homers in a season: Andruw Jones (51 in 2005) Ryan Howard (58 in 2006) David Ortiz (54 in 2006) Alex Rodriguez (54 in 2007) Prince Fielder (50 in 2007) and Jose Bautista (54 in 2010). Davis became the 27th player to do it all-time. Davis is also just the third player in major league history to have 50 homers and 40 doubles in a season joining Babe Ruth (1921) and Albert Belle (1995). “It's ridiculous” Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel said. He's in pretty rare company … especially the pitch he hit out [Friday]. A lot of people don't go back and really understand what he did with that pitch. It was a good pitch by Delabar but he just hit the bottom of the ball and he's so strong that he back-spinned it enough to get it out. … He's been doing it all year.” No team has been victimized by Davis' power more than the Blue Jays (67-80). His homer Friday night was his 16th against Toronto since the beginning of the 2012 season and his seven homers this year tie teammate Adam Jones for most this season against the Jays.
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