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Homer happy Birds drop Toronto

BALTIMORE - When the starting lineup card for Tuesday's All-Star game is posted in the American League dugout at Citi Field, Chris Davis', Adam Jones', and J.J. Hardy's name will all be penciled into it.
But first, that Baltimore Orioles trio helped their team break out of an offensive slump Friday night.
The Orioles powered past the Toronto Blue Jays behind a trio of home runs, including a pair of three-run jacks, as they took the series opener 8-5 before 42,660 vocal fans.
Davis, who will participate in Monday's Home Run Derby, began Friday night's derby at Camden Yards with his league-leading 35th home run, an opposite-field two-run shot to left, in the second tying the game 2-2.
Adam Jones hit a three-run homer, his 17th, to left the next inning to give the Orioles (52-42) a 5-3 lead.
And later J.J. Hardy added his 16th, giving Baltimore an 8-3 lead with his three-run homer to left in the sixth.
"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," Davis said. "It's big for everybody."
The Orioles had not scored more than six runs since an 11-3 win over the Yankees two weeks ago. And that was the only time Baltimore scored more than four runs in the past 11 games.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said the home runs came at opportune times and is constantly impressed with how his three All-Star starters, and top home-run hitters, contribute.
"We got some big hits with people on base," Showalter said. "They're a force of consistency for us. ... Not so much what they do statistically. That's pretty special, but the consistency they bring and the approach to the game."
Davis collected a pair of hits and Jones was 3 for 4, a triple shy of the cycle. Jones scored all three times and made a great play in the field, throwing out Toronto's J.P. Arencibia at second in the fourth as he tried to stretch a single into a double.
Baltimore leads the majors in home runs with 128, and this was their 17th three-homer game, tied for the majors lead with Atlanta. The Orioles are 15-2 in those outings.
"You've got to give them credit. These guys go up there grinding every at-bat. And it's fun to watch," Orioles starter Chris Tillman said. "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."
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle (5-6) struggled, giving up a season-high eight runs on nine hits in six innings. The three homers allowed tied a season-high for Buehrle who gave up over three runs for the third straight start.
The Toronto left-hander entered the game with a 2.83 career ERA against the Orioles, but did not have the same success.
Tillman (11-3) surrendered a pair of early home runs, but was able to regroup, work six solid innings, and earn his 11th win of the season. He gave up three runs on eight hits while striking out five.
The Orioles right-hander won for the seventh time in his last eight starts. In those wins, Tillman has allowed three runs or less.
"He's been pretty consistent for us and given us a chance to win every time he goes out there," Showalter said. "He's come a long way as a pitcher."
Arencibia hit a two-run shot to center in the second to give Toronto (44-48) a 2-0 lead and Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo shot the next inning to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.
Tommy Hunter gave up a pair of runs to Toronto in the ninth, but Jim Johnson came in and retired Colby Rasmus on one pitch to pick up his league-leading 32nd save.
Even though the Orioles have appeared to have broken out of their funk, won three straight, and sit 10 games over .500 with the All-Star break approaching, Showalter said neither him nor his players will be complacent.
"Happy, that gives a connotation of satisfied. I was tonight," Showalter said. "As long as there are people ahead of us and what we're trying to accomplish, I don't think anybody's content with it."

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