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TORONTO -- The series opener between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles was a pitchers duel for the first five innings.

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TORONTO -- The series opener between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles was a pitchers duel for the first five innings. It turned into a power game after that and Torontos boppers were up to the task. Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera belted three-run homers as the Blue Jays dumped the Orioles 9-3 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. Encarnacion got things started in the sixth inning, Lawrie would later give the Jays the lead and Cabrera added some insurance as Toronto improved to 11-9 on the season. "Home runs come in handy," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "Home runs do win. We had the three big ones." Nelson Cruz hit a three-run shot for Baltimore (9-10) in the top half of the sixth inning before Encarnacion ended his 25-game home run drought to pull Toronto even. Lawrie, from Langley, B.C., cracked the tie in the eighth inning with a blast off Evan Meek (0-1) to help make a winner of reliever Steve Delabar (2-0). Cabrera, who has hit safely in 19 of 20 games this season, went deep off Josh Stinson later in the frame. Juan Francisco and Josh Thole chipped in with two hits apiece for the Blue Jays, who outhit the Orioles 9-8. Toronto starter R.A. Dickey and Baltimores Miguel Gonzalez were both in form early on. Dickey was the first to hiccup in the sixth inning after Baltimore got a rally started by taking advantage of some sloppy defence. Steve Lombardozzi hit a flare to shallow left field that dropped in between Cabrera and Jose Reyes. Both Blue Jays seemed to think the other had a read on the ball but neither did. Lombardozzi reached second on the play and Nick Markakis followed with a walk. Cruz then stepped into a 1-1 fastball for his fourth homer of the season. Dickey recorded the next two outs but then loaded the bases by walking Steve Clevenger, hitting Delmon Young with a pitch and walking Ryan Flaherty. A Jonathan Schoop strikeout kept the damage to just three runs. A Baltimore error helped the Blue Jays rally in the bottom half. Cabrera reached when Lombardozzi flubbed a grounder and Jose Bautista singled to set the stage for Encarnacion, who launched a blast into the first row of standing-room only seats above the first deck in centre field. "Hes a home run hitter," Gibbons said. "To get that first one, Im sure hes breathing a little bit easier." It was the fourth-longest home run drought of Encarnacions career. Gonzalez, who struck out a season-high seven batters, lasted 5 2/3 innings as Baltimore fell to 5-6 on the road this season. "With Encarnacion you cant double up, youve got to keep the ball down and make better pitches," Gonzalez said. The Baltimore starter allowed four hits and two earned runs while walking a pair. "Miguel was very close there," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If we do a couple of things differently he probably pitches six or seven innings. He had good stuff obviously. He gave us a good chance to win. I cant fault his effort." Dickey struggled again when he came back out for the seventh inning but got a big assist from the Toronto bullpen. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Neil Wagner came on in relief and got Cruz to ground out. Southpaw Brett Cecil relieved Wagner and walked Chris Davis to load the bases. Cecil got cleanup hitter Adam Jones to wave at three straight pitches before striking out Clevenger to snuff the threat. "Thats the ballgame right there," Gibbons said. "But our bullpen is good. Weve had a couple hiccups in the past week but our bullpen is as good as anybodys." Delabar came on for the eighth inning and put a runner on with a one-out walk. Jonathan Diaz and Reyes then combined for a nice 4-6-3 double play to retire the side. Notes: Dickey, who tied a season high with six strikeouts, was pulled after facing two batters in the seventh inning. He allowed six hits, three earned runs and three walks. It was his second quality start of the season. ... The crowd let out a cheer when the halftime score of the Toronto Raptors NBA playoff game was shown on the big screen. The Raptors led Brooklyn 45-39 after two quarters and went on to beat the Nets 100-95. ... Cabrera has five homers on the season, one more than Lawrie. ... Announced attendance was 14,866 and the game took two hours 54 minutes to play. ... Dustin McGowan (1-1) is scheduled to start the second game of the three-game series on Wednesday. The Orioles will counter with fellow right-hander Chris Tillman (1-0). ... The Blue Jays will close out the homestand with a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox. ... It was the fifth game of a seven-game road trip for the Orioles, who were coming off a four-game series split in Boston. ... Bautista has reached base safely in all 20 games this season. Its the teams longest season-opening streak of its kind since Vernon Wells reached base safely in 29 straight games to open the 2006 campaign. ... 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Its amazing when a guy gets those few precious days to recover what it does to the bounce in their step and overall game/confidence. Cheap David Ross Jersey . According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Maple Leafs have trade offers on the table for the 26-year-old, but none have been deemed acceptable by the team. Cheap Billy Williams Jersey . - Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson sat on the scorers table at Oracle Arena on Wednesday morning.Staring down a six-game stretch heading into the Olympic break, the Maple Leafs gathered as a group and discussed the importance of yielding as many points as possible out of a pair of match-ups with the Panthers and Lightning as well as games against the Senators and Canucks. Already with four wins out of five, a victory on Saturday night against Vancouver would make it mission accomplished. "We want to end this part of the year off on a winning note," said Dion Phaneuf after the team took part in an off-ice workout on Friday. "We talked about it two weeks ago, how we wanted to get as many points as possible to set ourselves up going into the break in a good position." Despite the Leafs rolling to a 10-2-1 record in their last 13 games, a playoff position is still far from secured though. On Jan. 12, the day they beat the Devils 3-2 in a shootout to begin this impressive stretch, the Leafs sat two points out of a Wild Card spot. As of Feb. 7, they sit with a five-point Wild Card cushion and have gained ten points on the Montreal Canadiens to draw even at 68 points. Though still with 23 games remaining, Toronto is nowhere close to a position where they can ease up on their effort. "I dont think any team wants to give away any points," said Carl Gunnarsson. "Were in kind of a tight spot too. We really need the points." So too do the Canucks who have struggled mightily of late, losing six straight games and posting a dismal 4-12-2 record since the turn of the calendar to see their six-point Wild Card cushion evaporate to just one. That doesnt, however, mean the Leafs are taking anything for granted. "When youre playing a team that hasnt had as much success as theyd like, theyre going to want to end their pre-Olympic break on thee right note," Phaneuf said.dddddddddddd"Were expecting a push out of them." How hard the Canucks can push though is the question, since they are missing Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Andrew Alberts, Mike Santorelli and Yannick Weber to various injuries and ailments. "Quite honestly, Ive never been through so many injuries at one time in all the years that Ive coached," said head coach John Tortorella after putting his team through practice at the MasterCard Center on Friday. "I dont want to paint this as Woe is me and were getting all the bad breaks, we have to find a way to get out of it. I think we have in the past three games regained our structure and hopefully itll get things going our way tomorrow." Outscored 23-10 during their six-game skid, an inspired performance from both Daniel Sedin and Roberto Luongo would be most welcomed by the Canucks. Sedin has not scored in 2014 and has just five assists in the 18 games he has played since the turn of the calendar. Luongo meanwhile has lost his last four starts, posting an ugly 3.50 GAA and .881 save percentage. With their playoff cushion all but evaporated, the Canucks no longer have time to slowly work their way out of this slump. They need points, and fast. "I think a win is the top priority," Luongo insisted. "I dont want to sit here and make excuses, injuries are part of every team in the NHL, and everybody goes through it. You still have to find a way to accumulate points. That being said, were missing a lot of guys but sometimes its little things and then all of a sudden it snowballs into bigger things and next thing you know, you dont realize it but youre in a six-game losing streak." 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