Chris Davis hits No. 46, Tommy Hunter gets save as O’s top Tampa Bay

Chris Davis hit his 46th home run tonight to tie Jim Gentile for third on the O’s single-season homer list as the Orioles beat Tampa Bay 4-2 in front of 28,323 at Camden Yards.

With the win, the O’s salvage a game in this series, end Tampa Bay’s five-game winning streak here and beat the Rays for just the second time in the last nine meetings.

There was a save opportunity in the ninth, but Jim Johnson didn’t pitch. Darren O’Day started the inning, Brian Matusz came on to pitch to a single batter and Tommy Hunter got the last three outs. The game ended when Matt Wieters threw out Kelly Johnson trying to steal. This was Hunter’s fourth career save, all coming this year.

Wei-Yin Chen provided the O’s with a strong start. Over seven innings, he gave up six hits and two runs to improve to 7-6 with an ERA of 3.19, throwing 98 pitches. Chen had been 0-3 with an ERA of 4.66 in three starts this month.

Gentile hit 46 in 1961. Like Davis, he was a powerful lefty-hitting first baseman who had his breakout season at 27. Now Davis sets his sights on Frank Robinson (49 in 1966) and Brady Anderson (50 in 1996) on the O’s list.

Davis launched a bomb onto Eutaw Street, a solo homer, to give the Orioles a 4-2 lead in the fifth. In addition to being No. 46, it Davis’ 116th RBI.

It was also the 74th homer onto Eutaw Street in Camden Yards history, the fifth by Davis and his second this season. Davis has hit the last four O’s homers there.

It was also the 41st homer hit by Davis against an American League East opponent since the start of the 2012 season, and no one has hit more. Plus, with his 25th homer at Camden Yards, Davis tied Rafael Palmeiro (1998) for most ever in the park in one season.

The O’s took a 2-0 lead in the first on an Adam Jones RBI groundout and a Matt Wieters sac fly. Jones hit a solo homer in the third, his 26th, off starter and losing pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, who gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings.

The win was just the third in the last nine games for the Orioles, who are now 15-15 since the All-Star break and 68-58 overall. After Thursday’s off-day, the O’s host Oakland over the weekend.

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