Chris Davis hits homers and plays some defense, too

Guess what? He plays good defense. too.

Chris Davis is more than a home run hitter. A few days ago, shortstop J.J. Hardy - who knows a little something about defense - threw some props Davis’ way for his defense this year.

“Unbelievable. From the first day of spring training, he was out early working,” Hardy said of Davis and his glove work. “Compared to last year, amazing. Looking at all the other first baseman in the league, I don’t know who you could say is doing a better job defensively.

“Everyone knew when he came over he had a reputation of being an unbelievable first baseman defensively. Then, I think last year, he struggled a little over there. Could have been a new atmosphere, new team. Now we are seeing this year what everyone said about how good he was on defense.”

Not a one trick pony.

It sure was an exciting moment when Davis hit No. 50 last night to tie Brady Anderson’s club record and join Babe Ruth and Albert Belle as the only players in major league history to hit 40 doubles and 50 homers in the same season.

Davis is the seventh different American League left-handed batter with a 50-homer season, joining David Ortiz, Jim Thome, Ken Griffey, Roger Maris, Anderson and Ruth.

It was also impressive that the homer came at such a big moment for his team and it was fitting that it did.

Reporters who have been around Davis during the last two years have seen that he is a man of high character, and is liked and respected in the clubhouse. He is funny, articulate, self-deprecating and never brags on himself. He is there to answer our questions, even at the toughest times, like he did Thursday night. I’ve been impressed with him in so many ways beyond what he can do with a bat in his hand.

Buck Showalter likes to say, “I’m glad he’s on our side.” Bet every Orioles fan feels that way, too.

A few days ago, I talked with Davis about chasing the O’s home run record. Read that story here.

Here is a closer look at Davis’ 50 homers:

* Has hit 13 versus left-handed pitchers, 37 versus right-handers.
* Has hit 27 at home and 23 on the road.
* Has hit 47 as a first baseman and three as a DH.
* Hit 37 before the All-Star game and 13 after.
* Has hit 17 in day games and 33 at night.
* Has hit his most in the second inning with 10.
* Has hit 28 solo shots, 16 with a man on, five with two on and one with the bases loaded.
* Has hit six batting third and fourth, and 38 when batting fifth.
* Has hit more against New York and Toronto, with seven each, than any other teams.

Davis’ homers by month:
April - 9
May - 10
June - 12
July - 7
August - 9
September - 3

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