Jose Bautista hits 50th home run

Updated: September 24, 2010, 11:43 AM ET
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TORONTO -- Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 50th home run Thursday, a first-inning solo blast off Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez.

[+] EnlargeJose Bautista
Brad White/Getty ImagesJose Bautista is the first player to hit 50 home runs since Prince Fielder and Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Bautista is the 26th player in baseball history to reach the 50-home run mark in a season, and the first since Prince Fielder (50) and Alex Rodriguez (54) did it in 2007.

"It's really a big honor to be put in that elite group of hitters," Bautista said. "To tell you the truth, I really haven't let it sink in yet, I haven't thought about it too much. Once I do that, then I'll probably have more feelings to describe. Right now I'm really honored and happy."

Bautista's homer was the only offense the Blue Jays needed in a 1-0 win.

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki also became the first player with 10 straight 200-hit seasons, breaking his own record with a fifth-inning single.

"We got to see some things happen today that I've never seen before," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said after the game. "It's a day I'll always remember."

After fouling back a 2-0 pitch, Bautista hammered the next one into the left-field bullpen. All 50 of his homers have been to left or left center. He exchanged hugs and fist bumps with his teammates before coming out of the dugout for a curtain call and trying to get the attention of his parents, who were in the crowd.

"I tried to wave at them," Bautista said. "Everybody was standing up so I don't think they could see me."

Bautista has hit 26 home runs since the All-Star break, a new Blue Jays record.

The blast was Bautista's major league-high 31st at home this season, breaking Carlos Delgado's Blue Jays record set in 2000.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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