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BALTIMORE -- Stepping to the plate with a chance to become the 17th player in baseball history to hit four home runs in a game, Chris Davis had one thing in mind.
"I was thinking about trying to work a walk," Davis said with a wry grin.
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Facing Brad Lincoln in the eighth inning, Davis took three mighty swings but struck out on four pitches.
"I was definitely thinking about the home run," Davis said. "He gave me a good pitch to hit on the first pitch and I fouled it off. He was tough after that, but the biggest thing is we get the win and I enjoyed a pretty good night."
To say the least.
It was the first three-homer game for Davis, whose previous high was two on May 26, 2009, against the Yankees as a member of the Texas Rangers. The three home runs gave him 23 for the season, eclipsing his previous career high of 21 in 2009.
After the last one, Davis stepped out of the dugout to acknowledge the request for a curtain call by the crowd of 25,754. He's the 19th Oriole to hit three home runs in a game, the first since Nick Markakis in August 2006.
"It was awesome," Davis said of the ovation. "I mean, these fans have been awesome all year."
On Wednesday night, Adrian Beltre hit three homers for Texas against Baltimore. The Orioles, who were off Thursday, become the first team in major league history to be involved in two straight games in which a player homered three times, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Zach Britton (3-1) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Orioles, who have won seven of 11 to remain in the thick of the AL wild-card race.
It was the sixth straight defeat for the last-place Blue Jays and their season-high seventh consecutive loss on the road. But Toronto did, at least, end a run of seven successive games without scoring more than three runs.
Unfortunately for the Jays, their offensive outburst wasn't enough to overcome Davis' three long balls.
"He had a good day," Villanueva said. "He's capable of doing that. You make some mistakes, he did what you're supposed to do with them. Especially the last two. He won them the ballgame, simple as that."
Earlier in the day, the Blue Jays activated Jose Bautista (left wrist inflammation) from the 15-day disabled list. Playing in his first major league game since July 16, Bautista went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Toronto went up 1-0 in the second inning when Edwin Encarnacion doubled and came home on a single by Kelly Johnson. The Blue Jays didn't get another hit until Encarnacion singled with two outs in the sixth.
Davis connected on Villanueva's first pitch in the bottom of the second. It was the 66th home run in the 21-year history of Camden Yards to land on Eutaw Street in front of the B&O Warehouse, the third hit by Davis.
In the fourth, Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy dived behind second base to make a sensational stop on a grounder by Johnson and got a force out with a backhanded flip to second.
Davis homered to center on a 2-2 pitch in the fourth. His sixth-inning drive, on Delabar's second pitch, followed a sacrifice fly by Matt Wieters.
|Orioles DH Chris Davis connects for three home runs in the first six innings vs. the Blue Jays. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Rajai Davis, LF||5||0||1||1||0||0||0||.252|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||5||0||0||0||0||4||2||.233|
|Jose Bautista, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.241|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.293|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B||3||0||1||1||1||0||2||.225|
|Moises Sierra, DH||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.298|
|Mike McCoy, 3B||3||2||1||0||1||0||1||.226|
|Jeff Mathis, C||3||1||1||2||1||1||1||.220|
|Adeiny Hechavarria, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.179|
|2B - Rajai Davis (21, O'Day), Edwin Encarnacion (23, Britton)|
|HR - Jeff Mathis (8, Lindstrom)|
|RBI - Rajai Davis (34), Kelly Johnson (47), Jeff Mathis 2 (22)|
|2-OUT RBI - Rajai Davis (18)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Carlos Villanueva (L,6-4)||5.2||5||4||4||1||4||2||3.30|
|WP - Steve Delabar (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 101-62, Steve Delabar 31-21, Brad Lincoln 18-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 5-8, Steve Delabar 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 23, Steve Delabar 8, Brad Lincoln 5|
|Nick Markakis, RF||3||0||0||1||0||0||0||.292|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.228|
|Nate McLouth, LF||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.202|
|Adam Jones, CF||3||1||1||0||1||2||2||.291|
|Matt Wieters, C||3||0||0||1||0||1||2||.237|
|Chris Davis, DH||4||3||3||4||0||1||0||.256|
|Mark Reynolds, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.218|
|Ryan Flaherty, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.208|
|Robert Andino, PR-2B||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.218|
|Manny Machado, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.240|
|2B - J.J. Hardy (22, Villanueva), Adam Jones (30, Villanueva)|
|HR - Chris Davis 3 (23, Villanueva, Villanueva, Delabar)|
|SF - Nick Markakis (5), Matt Wieters (2)|
|RBI - Nick Markakis (46), Matt Wieters (63), Chris Davis 4 (64)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Davis 3 (22)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Mark Reynolds (11, Dropped fly)|
|Zach Britton (W,3-1)||6.2||4||2||2||2||6||0||5.59|
|Brian Matusz (H,1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.40|
|Jim Johnson (S,39)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.02|
|HBP - Encarnacion (by Zach Britton)|
|WP - Zach Britton (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zach Britton 102-59, Darren O'Day 3-2, Brian Matusz 3-3, Pedro Strop 20-11, Matt Lindstrom 10-5, Jim Johnson 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Britton 11-3, Pedro Strop 1-0, Jim Johnson 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Zach Britton 27, Darren O'Day 1, Brian Matusz 1, Pedro Strop 4, Matt Lindstrom 2, Jim Johnson 3|
|Attendance - 25754|
|Game Time - 2:52|
|Temperature - 84|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Dale Scott|