The Orioles continued to use the home run to their advantage Friday night, erasing a two-run deficit and building a five-run lead in their 8-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Orioles three All-Star starters — first baseman Chris Davis, center fielder Adam Jones and shortstop J.J. Hardy — each hit home runs with runners on base.
“They've just been solid as people, too,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They post up and they're in a good routine. Same way with Nick [Markakis] and Manny [Machado] and Matt [Wieters]. They're a force of consistency for us.”
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Davis went the other way in the second inning for a two-run shot that scraped over the left field wall to the game at 2-2. Jones followed up the next inning, pulling a low 2-2 pitch into the left field stands for a three-run blast that put the Orioles up 5-3. Hardy put the game seemingly out of reach with a three-run homer of his own in the sixth to make it 8-3.
“That was huge,” Davis said of Hardy’s home run. “Anytime you can give your pitcher a little bit of room to work, the bullpen doesn't have to be on pins and needles the whole game, it's big for everybody.”
It was the 17th time this season the Orioles have homered at least three times in a game, tied for the most in the majors with the Atlanta Braves, and it was the 35th time they had a multi-home run game, which trails only Toronto (38 multi-home run games).
“It definitely helps,” said right-hander Chris Tillman, who picked up his 11th win of the season. “These guys grind out at bats all ballgame long every day. It’s fun to watch. I’ve said it a hundred times. The quicker you get these guys back in the dugout and in the batter’s box, the more is going to happen. I can’t say enough about these guys. They go out there and go hard every day.”
The Orioles have hit 128 home runs this season, the best in the major leagues. Toronto is second with 114. The Blue Jays got a two-run home run from catcher J.P. Arencibia in the second to take a 2-0 lead, and then a solo shot from first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to take a 3-2 lead.
Hardy’s home run plated his 500th career RBI, and he ended a 19-game homerless streak. It was his longest streak since going 19 games without a home run between Sept. 10, 2010 and April 9, 2011. His last home run before Friday also came against Toronto in a 7-6 loss at the Blue Jays on June 21.
The three home runs against Toronto were the second-most home runs the Orioles have hit in a game so far this year. They hit four against Washington on May 29.