Davis hits No. 44 (Hardy hits No. 22)

The Orioles had a runner on second base and two outs in the fourth inning tonight, and Diamondbacks starter Randall Delgado decided to challenge Chris Davis with a fastball.

Delgado lost.

Davis hit his 44th home run to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

Nick Markakis walked with one out and moved up on a wild pitch. Adam Jones grounded out and Davis hit a big fly ball, allowing him to pass Rafael Palmeiro for the most single-season home runs in franchise history. Jim Gentile is next with 46, followed by Frank Robinson with 49 and Brady Anderson with 50.

Davis now has 112 RBIs.

Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez has retired all nine Diamondbacks that he’s faced tonight. The first time through the order didn’t present any challenges, though he ran the count to 3-0 on Delgado before inducing a ground ball to short.

A walk to Delgado wouldn’t have gone over too well with manager Buck Showalter. Better to avoid it.

Gonzalez has struck out two batters and thrown 21 of his 34 pitches for strikes.

Gonzalez has allowed 11 runs in the fourth and fifth this season, and 13 in the sixth - his highest total for any inning.

Gonzalez has recorded at least one out in the sixth inning in 18 of his 20 starts this season and in 24 of 26 dating back to August 31, 2012.

The eighth spot in the order seems to agree with second baseman Brian Roberts. He singled in the third inning tonight and is 4-for-7 with a double, triple and three RBIs in his last three games.

Markakis singled in the first inning and walked in the fourth. He’s 7-for-13 in his last four games.

Down on the farm, Wilson Betemit went 2-for-4 with three RBIs tonight in his second injury-rehab game at Single-A Frederick.

Update: The Orioles don’t always hit home runs, but when they do... they hit... home runs.

OK, I don’t know where I was going with that, but J.J. Hardy extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his 22nd homer to extend the lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth inning.

Hardy has four homers in the last six games.

The Orioles lead the majors with 160 homers. The Blue Jays ranked second with 145 before tonight.

Roberts singled again, making him 5-for-8 in his last three games.

Gonzalez has allowed one hit in four scoreless innings.

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