Final Score: Baltimore 9, Toronto 3
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Caleb Joseph, Jonathan Schoop and Chris Davis homered as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-3, in the opener of a key three-game series.
J.J. Hardy, Nelson Cruz and Davis each knocked in two runs for the Orioles, who have won three in a row and hold a five-game lead over Toronto for first place in the AL East.
Bud Norris (9-7) got the start for Baltimore and gave up two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. He improved to 3-0 against the Blue Jays this season.
Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer for Toronto, which has lost four straight. Mark Buehrle (11-8) allowed four runs on 10 hits with three walks over four innings.
"We caught him on a down night," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Buehrle.
The Blue Jays activated Brett Lawrie from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game. However, the third baseman exited before the top of the fourth inning with lower back tightness. Danny Valencia took over at third for Lawrie.
"This is my first game back so I don't want to make it permanent that I don't get back," Lawrie said.
The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the third. Delmon Young walked and raced home on Hardy's two-out double to right-center field.
Baltimore tacked on three more runs in the fourth. Joseph and Schoop started the frame with back-to-back homers. Nick Markakis and Manny Machado followed with consecutive singles. After Adam Jones popped out, the runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Young followed with an RBI single that took weird bounce and got past Valencia.
Rasmus responded with a two-run homer in the bottom half. Dioner Navarro led off with a single and crossed the plate on Rasmus' blast to right.
Davis hit a solo homer in the fifth to make it 5-2 Baltimore. Cruz added an RBI single during Baltimore's next at-bat.
The Blue Jays got one run back in the seventh. Ryan Goins and Jose Reyes hit back-to-back singles off Brian Matusz. Tommy Hunter came in from the bullpen and walked Melky Cabrera to load the bases. Jose Bautista's sacrifice fly cut the gap to 6-3. Navarro grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Orioles scored three runs in the eighth. Dustin McGowan loaded the bases without recording an out. Cruz hit a sacrifice fly and Hardy added an RBI single before Aaron Loup took over on the mound. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly out by Davis.
Baltimore leads the season series by a 6-5 margin ... The Blue Jays started a six-game homestand on Tuesday ... Buehrle fell to 8-10 lifetime against the Orioles ... Lawrie hadn't played since June 22, when he fractured his right index finger after being hit by a pitch from Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto ... The Orioles had 14 hits, compared to 12 for the Blue Jays.
08/06 02:03:01 ET
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