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TOR@BAL: Bautista crushes a three-run shot to left

BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays knew this day would come eventually. It took a little longer than they'd hoped for, but Toronto's offense finally came to life on Sunday afternoon in a very big way.

The club broke out its power bats -- thanks to homers by Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie. The Blue Jays banged out 17 hits to give starter Mark Buehrle more than enough support in an 11-3 rout of the Orioles before 39,281 at Camden Yards.

The 11 runs and 17 hits were season highs, as the Blue Jays (7-6) won two of three in this weekend series. Toronto won Friday's game, 2-0, despite getting only three hits, none of which drove in a run. The Jays, with only a .209 team batting average heading into this game, couldn't get hits at the right time during Saturday's 12-inning, 2-1 loss. But everything came together in the series finale.

"We figured it was a matter of time, and we knew it was going to happen," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We know we have a good lineup. Brett got it going, [Edwin] Encarnacion had a nice day. It was a good all-around effort."

Toronto finished with three homers and four doubles. Seven of the team's 17 hits were for extra bases, and the Blue Jays even threw in a perfect suicide squeeze by Jonathan Diaz. They broke the game open with a five-run sixth to seize an 8-1 advantage. The Blue Jays made it an 11-1 game on Bautista's three-run shot in the eighth.

Rasmus finished 3-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle before coming out in the sixth inning as a precaution when his left hamstring tightened up a bit. He's now homered in two straight games and increased his average to .217, after being at only .100 after Wednesday's game.

"It feels good just to be able to help us get up on these guys and win the series," Rasmus said. "It always feels good to hit good. I just kept focusing on trying to find a different approach or make adjustments to what I needed to do and just have faith it was going to come around."

Encarnacion also went 3-for-4 and got both of his RBIs on a two-run double during the five-run sixth inning, when the Blue Jays knocked around O's starter Ubaldo Jimenez (0-3) and reliever Josh Stinson.

Adam Lind also added three hits, all singles. He scored twice and reached base five times -- via two more walks. Melky Cabrera went 2-for-6 and set a new team record for a hitting streak at the start of the season. He's now hit in all 13 games to date.

"When you're scoring runs, it takes a little pressure off everybody," Buehrle said. "We haven't had a game like that this year, so hopefully we can get the guys going."

Buehrle (3-0) gave up a run on two hits in the first inning and a double to start the second before settling down. The veteran gave up just two hits over his final six innings, mixing up pitches, as the Orioles (5-7) were often swinging early in the count.

He struck out two without a walk on just 91 pitches, improving to 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA.

"Buehrle is the type of guy you don't want to get behind on, because it really plays into his hand with the changeup," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's not overpowering, but he makes a living out of taking advantage of [a batter's] aggressiveness."

Rasmus hit a solo homer in the first, but the Blue Jays took the lead for good with a two-run fourth. Lind started the inning with a walk before Encarnacion ripped a shot over the bag at third. The ball zipped into foul territory near the stands, where a ball girl mistakenly grabbed it to make the play a ground-rule double and force Lind to stop at third. Lind ended up scoring on a Dioner Navarro groundout for a 2-1 lead.

Encarnacion moved to third and scored on Diaz's suicide squeeze. Diaz, who came on in the first inning after Maicer Izturis was pulled with a sprained left knee, dropped a perfect bunt toward second. Jimenez threw a high pitch, but Diaz still somehow got the bunt down to put the Blue Jays up, 3-1.

Lawrie made the score, 4-1, with a solo homer in the sixth. Rasmus later singled through a drawn-in infield to plate two runs, and Encarnacion lined a two-run double to left for a five-run inning.

"[When] you have a good day, it takes a load off," Gibbons said. "It did wonders for the pitching staff, too. We had some breathing room. It makes it easier on the coaching staff, too." Comments