Blue Jays 13, Orioles 4

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TORONTO (AP)—Carlos Delgado and the Toronto Blue Jays are slugging their way toward the top of the AL East.

Delgado increased his major league-leading RBI total to 80, and Shannon Stewart had three hits and a homer in his return from the disabled list as the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 13-4 on Monday night.

Delgado went 3-for-4 with a walk and four RBIs for the Blue Jays, who lead the majors in batting average, runs, total bases, hits, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

The Blue Jays are 12 games over .500 for the first time since August 13, 1999. They have won six of seven to move within one game of the New York Yankees in the AL East.

“It is pretty cool,” said Delgado, whose team was 11 1/2 games back after a 10-18 April. “It shows a lot of character the way we’ve bounced back after a rough start. It’s a lot of fun to watch the standings for a change.”

Delgado, who hadn’t driven in a run in his previous six games, tied the club record for most RBIs before the All-Star break. Joe Carter had 80 in 1994, and Delgado had 80 in 2000.

“Offensively, this is as good as anything I’ve played on,” Delgado said. “We can do a lot of things right now. We can hit for power, we can hit for average and we can do the little things.”

Stewart led off the bottom of the first with his fourth homer. It was his first at-bat in almost a month—he had missed 20 games because of a sore right hamstring.

“You don’t want to be the odd man out on this team because everyone is doing their thing,” Stewart said.

Vernon Wells extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games with a single in the first before Delgado walked and Tom Wilson hit an RBI single. Mike Bordick later added an RBI double, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead against Orioles starter Omar Daal.

Daal (4-9) lost his fourth straight start, allowing nine runs—eight earned—on 10 hits in just 2 1-3 innings.

Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said the team might move Daal to the bullpen.

“That will be probably be discussed,” Hargrove said.

Former Blue Jay Tony Batista hit a two-run homer in the second, but Delgado hit a two-run double in the bottom half.

The Blue Jays sent 11 men to the plate in the third and scored six runs.

After Josh Phelps led off with his 10th home run, Mike Bordick doubled and Dave Berg reached base when shortstop Deivi Cruz dropped an easy pop fly for an error. Stewart chased Daal with a single before Travis Driskill hit Reed Johnson with a pitch, scoring Bordick.

Driskill walked Wells with the bases loaded before Delgado hit a two-run single. Wilson, who went 3-for-5 with three RBI, followed with an RBI single, giving Toronto an 11-2 lead.

Toronto starter Doug Davis (4-4) pitched six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking two.

Toronto outhit Baltimore 20-11 and has won eight straight against the Orioles.

“The offense is unbelievable. You can’t ask for anything more,” Davis said.

Baltimore’s Luis Matos hit his fourth homer of the season, against TanyonSturtze in the eighth.

Notes

Toronto third baseman Eric Hinske will begin a rehab assignment at Syracuse on Tuesday. Last year’s AL rookie of the year has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 24 because of a broken bone in his right hand. … Baltimore’s Melvin Mora, the AL’s leading hitter, missed his third straight game since being hit by a pitch on his right hand Friday night. Manager Mike Hargrove said he might return on Tuesday. … The Blue Jays are 34-14 sincegoing 10-18 in April.

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