Chris Davis hits No. 50 as Orioles beat Blue Jays in road trip opener

Well, that was a great time to hit an historic home run.

Chris Davis hit his 50th homer tonight to tie Brady Anderson’s club record, and it was a big one. The solo shot gave the Orioles a 4-3 lead over the Blue Jays in the eighth inning, and they beat Toronto 5-3 at Rogers Centre.

With the homer, Davis became just the third player in major league history to have a season with at least 50 homers and 40 doubles, joining Babe Ruth (1921) and Albert Belle (1995).

Davis led off the eighth and hit a 2-2 pitch from Steve Delabar out just to the left of center field to tie Anderson, who hit 50 for the 1996 Orioles. Davis became the 26th player in big league history to have a 50-homer season. Anderson had also hit his 50th in Toronto.

The Orioles rallied to win this game. They were being shut out on two hits through the sixth by Todd Redmond, but with Redmond seemingly rolling, he was taken out of the game in the seventh. The O’s tied it 3-3 after he left on a J.J. Hardy RBI double and Steve Clevenger’s huge two-run double. It was the first O’s hit for the Baltimore native, and it was a big one, getting the O’s even at 3-3.

Hardy’s double was his 25th of the season, and that gives this Orioles club three players (Hardy, Adam Jones and Davis) with 25 or more doubles and homers. This is the fourth time this has happened in club history; O’s teams in 1996, 2005 and 2011 also did it.

Jason Hammel went five innings, allowing three hits and three runs in his first start since July 26, but he remains winless over his last 11 starts. He gave up a two-run homer to Adam Lind in the fourth and a solo shot to Colby Rasmus an inning later.

One night after taking the loss against New York, Jim Johnson pitched a shutout ninth to get his 44th save. Tommy Hunter got the win, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

The Orioles needed a win coming off three straight losses to New York and got one tonight to end a four-game losing streak in Toronto. The O’s began tonight with a record of just 12-17 over the last 29 games. They are now 7-7 against Toronto.

In the second game of this series, Saturday afternoon at 4:07 p.m., Chris Tillman (16-5, 3.66 ERA) faces right-hander Esmil Rogers (5-7, 4.46 ERA).

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