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Orioles drub Blue Jays 9-3 to take five-game lead in AL East

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Munenori Kawasaki (66) tags out Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis (21) during the sixth inning at Rogers Centre, Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

Caleb Joseph, Jonathan Schoop and Chris Davis hit solo home runs as the Baltimore Orioles sent the Toronto Blue Jays to their fourth loss in a row on Tuesday with a 9-3 victory.

The Blue Jays, who returned from a 6-4 road trip, dropped to five games off the pace in the American League East behind the first-place Orioles, who won their third game in a row.

Third baseman Brett Lawrie, who suffered a broken finger in June, returned to the Blue Jays' lineup from the disabled list for the game.

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Lawrie had a single in his only at-bat and left after three innings with a tight back. Danny Valencia took his place at third base.

Orioles right-hander Bud Norris (9-7) held the Blue Jays to seven hits and two runs on a homer by Colby Rasmus in 5 1/3 innings. Norris is 3-0 in five career starts against Toronto.

Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle (11-8) allowed 10 hits, including two home runs, three walks and four runs in four innings. He is 1-7 in his past 11 starts.

The Orioles (64-48) stranded five runners over the first two innings before cashing in with a run in the third on a one-out walk to Delmon Young and a two-out double by J.J. Hardy.

The Orioles took a 4-0 lead with a three-run fourth that opened with back-to-back homers by Joseph and Schoop.

Nick Markakis and Manny Machado followed with singles before Adam Jones popped out. Young's grounder to third took a bad hop for an RBI single. Nelson Cruz grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Blue Jays (60-54) cut the lead in half in the fourth inning on a leadoff single by Dioner Navarro and, with two out, the 15th homer of the season by Rasmus.

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Davis hit his 18th homer of the year against right-hander Aaron Sanchez with one out in the fifth to give the Orioles a 5-2 lead.

Sanchez allowed another run in the sixth on two walks and a single by Cruz.

Left-hander Brian Matusz replaced Norris in the sixth after Valencia's one-out single.

Matusz was replaced by right-hander Tommy Hunter after Ryan Goins and Jose Reyes started the seventh inning with singles. Melky Cabrera singled to load the bases. Jose Bautista hit a sacrifice fly to right to cut the lead to 6-3, but Navarro ended the threat when he grounded into a double play.

The Orioles increased their lead to 9-3 in the eighth after Dustin McGowan allowed walks to Machado and Young and a single to Jones to load the bases. Cruz hit a sacrifice fly and Hardy singled in a run.

Left-hander Aaron Loup took over and allowed a sacrifice fly by Davis on a foul ball that was caught by Valencia who had a long run down the line.

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Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 36,183. Blue Jays INF Steve Tolleson was put on the paternity list and that opened a spot for INF Brett Lawrie who was reinstated from the DL for Tuesday's game. Lawrie suffered a broken right index finger when hit by a pitch at Cincinnati on June 22. Lawrie was 4-for-10 in three games on a rehabilitation assignment with single-A Dunedin. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says DH Adam Lind (right foot fracture) could return to the Blue Jays by the weekend or by the beginning of next week. A return date for 1B Edwin Encarnacion (right quadriceps strain) is still undetermined although he is swinging a bat and has resumed running after a minor setback. RHP Drew Hutchison (7-9, 4.62 earned-run average) will pitch for the Blue Jays on Wednesday against Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen (12-3, 3.76 ERA).

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