BALTIMORE — With one final power surge before the All-Star Break, Chris Davis earned himself a place in baseball’s record book, and generated momentum for Monday’s Home Run Derby.
Davis hit his 37th home run to tie the American League record prior to the break, and the Baltimore Orioles cruised past the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-4.
Davis doubled in two runs in the first inning and hit a two-run homer in the third to give him 93 RBIs, second-most in the majors behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera. He and Cabrera are the only players in major league history to have 30 homers and 90 RBIs before the All-Star game.
“Superhuman,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “He’s having some kind of year. I saw him a little bit when he was in Texas coming up. He could always hit home runs. He got his opportunity here to play every day and he’s taken advantage of it. It’s pretty impressive.”
By going deep in a fourth straight game, Davis equaled Reggie Jackson’s AL mark of 37 homers before the break, set in 1969. The major league record is 39, by Barry Bonds in 2001.
Davis has already reached career highs in home runs and RBIs with 66 games left in the regular season.
“I think it’s something definitely to be proud of,” Davis said. “It means I’ve been doing my job, but it also speaks volumes about the guys in front of me getting on base and really swinging the bats well.”
Davis has been facing a shift lately, but there’s no defending a ball that clears the wall.
“You can’t shift to the stands,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They don’t allow you to put anybody out there. So hit it where the grass doesn’t grow.”
Davis will next put his sweet swing on display at the Home Run Derby on Monday night in New York.
“I expect it to be a lot of fun,” he said. “I think it’s going to be definitely high energy, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
HOME RUN DERBY on ESPN
WHEN: Monday, July 15, 7 pm CDT
WHERE: Citi Field, New York, NY
AL CONTESTANTS: Robinson Cano (captain), Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis and Prince Fielder
NL CONTESTANTS: David Wright (captain), Bryce Harper, Michael Cuddyer, Pedro Alvarez