The three members of the Baltimore Orioles voted onto the All-Star team staged their own version of the Home Run Derby.
Chris Davis hit his 35th homer, Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy each had a three-run shot and the Orioles beat Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 Friday night.
Davis upped his major league-leading home run total with a two-run drive in the second inning. Only Barry Bonds (39 in 2001), Mark McGwire (37 in 1998) and Reggie Jackson (37 in 1969) hit more homers before the All-Star break.
Jones connected in the third to put the Orioles up 5-3, and Hardy went deep in the sixth for a five-run cushion. It all added up to Baltimore’s third straight win, even though Toronto outhit the Orioles 14-9.
"But we got some big hits with people on base," manager Buck Showalter said.
It’s been that way all season for the Orioles, who lead the majors with 128 home runs — including a combined 68 by Davis, Jones and Hardy.
All three long balls came off Buehrle, who had allowed only two homers in his previous 11 starts.
"That’s what they do in a great park to hit home runs," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "They had the two big three-run homers, but you’ve got to expect here that’s going to happen. You have to go toe to toe. We had a lot of hits, but we just didn’t score a lot."
Not enough, anyway. After Hardy connected, Baltimore was going to be tough to catch.
"That was huge," Davis said. "Anytime you can give your pitcher a little bit of room to work and the bullpen doesn’t have to be on pins and needles the whole game, it’s big for everybody."
Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman (11-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. He has won seven of his last eight starts, thanks in part to some solid backing from the Baltimore offense.
"These guys grind out at bats all ballgame long, every day. It’s fun to watch," 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."
After Toronto’s Adam Lind hit a two-run double off Tommy Hunter with two outs in the ninth, Jim Johnson needed one pitch to get his 32nd save.
Buehrle (5-6) surrendered eight runs and nine hits in six innings to fall to 0-5 against the AL East this season. The last time the left-hander allowed eight earned runs in a game was July 12, 2009, against Minnesota.
"It was obviously a bad pitch to Davis in the second inning, (but) anybody else doesn’t hit that ball out," Buehrle said. "That’s why he’s so good. He’s strong as a beast. Yeah, I’d like to have that back, but if it was against somebody else it’s probably a fly ball out."
And the other two?
"The one to Jones, it was in the dirt," Buehrle said. "And obviously the one to Hardy, it was meant to be a sinker but it really didn’t sink too much."
J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, who have lost 12 of 18 since an 11-game winning streak. Jose Bautista struck out four times, three against Tillman.
Toronto went up 2-0 in the second inning when Colby Rasmus doubled and Arencibia connected for his first homer in 18 games since June 18 and No. 16 on the season.
Davis answered in the bottom half with an opposite-field drive to left after Jones led off with a double for the first of his three hits. The home run gave Davis 88 RBIs, breaking Boog Powell’s franchise record of 86 before the All-Star break.
In the third, Encarnacion snapped a 1-for-11 slump with his team-leading 24th homer, a solo shot to left.
Again, the Orioles responded in the bottom half. After Manny Machado and Nick Markakis singled with one out, Jones hit his 17th homer to put Baltimore ahead for good.
Hardy hit his 16th of the season after Jones and Davis singled to open the sixth.
NOTES: Toronto failed to sign Phil Bickford, the 10th overall selection in last month’s amateur draft. That means the Blue Jays will get a No. 11 pick next year. … The Orioles selected the contract of RHP Jairo Asencio and designated RHP Jair Jurrjens for assignment. … Jason Hammel, who is 4-1 lifetime against Toronto, will start for the Orioles on Saturday. Todd Redmond will pitch for the Jays. … Twelve of the 50 runs allowed by Tillman this year have come in the second inning. … The Blue Jays have lost eight of 11 on the road.