BALTIMORE -- Even though Baltimore's Chris Davis entered this weekend's series against the Toronto Blue Jays mired in a 2-for-27 slump, his overall numbers indicated that he was still capable of changing a game with one swing.
Davis hit his second home run in as many nights and increased his major league-leading total to 35 as the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 before an announced crowd of 42,660 in the series opener on Friday night.
Davis tied Ken Griffey Jr. for the second-most home runs before the All-Star break in American League history, two behind Reggie Jackson, who hit 37 for Oakland in 1969.
"I think it was huge to get the win tonight," Davis said. "I think any time you can give your pitcher a little room to work and the bullpen doesn't have to be on pins and needles the whole game, it's big for everybody."
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (11-3) overcame a shaky start and allowed three runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk in six innings. The Orioles improved to 14-5 when he starts.
Toronto's Mark Buehrle (5-6) had another rough outing, allowing eight runs and nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks in six innings.
In addition to Davis, the Orioles got big nights from two other All-Star selections. Adam Jones went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI and J.J. Hardy also hit a three-run shot for the Orioles, who lead the majors with 128 home runs.
"They've just been solid as people, too," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about his threesome. "They post up and they're in a good routine. Same way with Nick [Markakis] and Manny [Machado] and Matt [Wieters]. They're a force of consistency for us. Not only as players, but as people."
J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion each homered for Toronto, which has dropped eight of its past 11 games.
The Blue Jays outhit the Orioles 14-9, but left nine men on base. The Orioles got the big hits they needed.
"That's what they do, they have a great ball park to hit home runs in," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "That's what going to happen. You have to go toe-to-toe. We had a lot of hits. We just didn't score a lot."
Baltimore broke open the game on the homer by Hardy that increased the lead to 8-3 in the sixth. The Blue Jays (44-48) cut the margin to 8-5 with a two-out, two-run double by Adam Lind in the ninth, but closer Jim Johnson got the final out for the Orioles.
Toronto is the only team in the American League East with fewer than 50 wins.
The Blue Jays opened a 2-0 lead in the second on Arencibia's 16th home run of the season, a two-run shot to center field off Tillman. The Orioles tied the score in the bottom of the inning on Davis' towering blast off Buehrle that just cleared the left field fence.
The Blue Jays went ahead 3-2 in the third on a homer by Encarnacion, who has 24 this season and six in 11 games against Baltimore. It was the first time that Tillman allowed more than one home run in a game since May 29 against the Nationals when he gave up four.
"I fell behind too many times," Tillman said. "I think when you get in those counts, you have to make a pitch. Our guys have been swinging the bats well all year. It's fun to watch. Even defensively, these guys are fun to watch. You appreciate it as pitchers."
But the Orioles answered again. This time, it was Jones who smashed a 2-2 pitch for a three-run shot and a 5-3 lead in the third.
"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. They're a good team and they've got everything going for them right now. What do you do? You've just got to get ready for the next start."
NOTES: Orioles 2B Brian Roberts batted leadoff for the first time since July 1, 2012. ... RHP Jairo Asencio was recalled Friday by the Orioles from Triple-A Norfolk for bullpen help. He pitched a scoreless seventh. ... The Blue Jays failed to sign first-round pick RHP Phil Bickford, who will attend Cal State Fullerton. Toronto will get the No. 11 selection in the 2014 draft as compensation. ... LHP J.A. Happ will make a rehab start on Saturday in the Gulf Coast League. He was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings on May 7.