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Jose Bautista sets Blue Jays record with 30 first-half homers

Toronto Blue Jays v Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 9: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a solo home run during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 9, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Jose Bautista became the first major leaguer in four years and the first ever Blue Jay to hit 30 homers prior to the All-Star break when he took Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin deep in the third inning Saturday.

Alex Rodriguez was the last player to hit 30 homers in the first half, finishing with exactly that many on his way to hitting 54 overall in 2007.

George Bell held the Blue Jays record with 29 first-half homers in his MVP season of 1987. He ended up with 49 homers that year.

Bautista, this year’s leading vote-getter in All-Star balloting, has hit 60 homers in 156 games since last year’s All-Star break.

Tonight’s homer was also his 100th since joining the Blue Jays late in the 2008 season.

11:00 p.m. EDT: After Jon Rauch blew a save in the ninth, Bautista hit his 31st homer in the 10th inning to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-4 win over the Indians.

It gives him four multihomer games this season. He’s hit seven homers in nine games this month.