Toronto Slams Four Home Runs, Beat Orioles 5-2


TORONTO — The homer-happy Blue Jays bopped another opponent Saturday.

Lyle Overbay hit two of Toronto's four home runs, Vernon Wells connected for a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning and Brett Cecil pitched the Blue Jays over the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

"It was a big win," Toronto's Aaron Hill said. "Cecil did an unbelievable job and obviously Vernon's homer was a big one."

Wells broke a 2-all tie with a one-out drive off Jason Berken (0-1). His 13th homer was a long fly that hit the facing of the third deck in left field.

One out later, Alex Gonzalez singled and Alberto Castillo replaced Berken, surrendering Overbay's homer on his first pitch.

Toronto, which leads the majors with 85 home runs, doesn't bother trying to grind down opposing pitchers, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.

"They are an ambush-type team," Trembley said. "They don't take a whole lot, they don't walk a whole lot. They go up there looking to swing. If you make mistakes, they don't foul them straight back, they hit them."

Hill, who also homered, said the aggressive strategy suits him just fine.

"Why not?" Hill asked. "At this level you may only get one pitch an at-bat."

Overbay hit a solo drive off newly promoted Chris Tillman in the second, ending an 0-for-17 slump. Overbay has six home runs this season and eight multihomer games in his career.

Overbay, who was dropped from fifth to seventh in the order Friday, raised his average to .203. He left without speaking to the media, but Hill said the Blue Jays have not lost faith in their first baseman.

"Everybody is rooting for him," Hill said. "Obviously he's not where he wants to be. It was good to see him come out today and swing the bats. It couldn't happen to a better guy."

With two games remaining, the Blue Jays have hit 50 homers in May, a team record for a single month. They hit 48 in June 2000.

The Blue Jays improved to 5-0 against Baltimore this season. They won for the ninth time in 11 home games overall.

Cecil (5-2) won his third straight start and matched his career high by working eight innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He walked none and struck out seven.

"Cecil showed very good command," Trembley said. "He showed the ability to expand the strike zone, especially when he had two strikes. We chased a lot of pitches out of the strike zone."

Kevin Gregg closed it out in the ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

Baltimore took a 2-1 in the sixth when Cesar Izturis doubled and Julio Lugo and Nick Markakis hit RBI singles.

Toronto tied it in the bottom half when Hill drove Tillman's first pitch over the wall in left for his eighth homer and second in as many days. Four of Hill's past five hits have been home runs.

"Tillman goes out there, he's got a 2-1 lead and he throws an 87-mile-an-hour fastball to try and get the first pitch over to a guy who's an All-Star second baseman," Trembley said. "You've got to do better than that."

Tillman, recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, made his first start of the season, allowing two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

"I thought I was OK," Tillman said. "I didn't think I was great, I didn't think I was bad."

Cecil retired the first 10 batters before Markakis singled up the middle in the fourth, then got Ty Wigginton to ground into an inning-ending double play.

"He's got that bulldog look in him," Hill said. "It's good to see."

Baltimore, which lost its fourth straight, had just five hits and dropped to 2-28 when scoring fewer than four runs.

"I've really run out of things to say," Trembley said. "I've juggled the lineup, I've put different guys in there. We have really prepared our guys as best as we possibly can and it just hasn't happened for us."

The Orioles have lost seven straight games at Rogers Centre and 16 of 18. … Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (4-2) faces Baltimore RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-4) in Sunday's series finale. … Attendance was 16,194.

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