Orioles, Blue Jays battle for series advantage

With their four-game series knotted up at a game apiece, the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays will face off at the Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.

The Orioles came away with a 10-6 win on Friday night, taking control of the game early by scoring three runs in each of the first three innings, resulting in an early exit for Toronto rookie Sean Nolin (0-1).

Four of Baltimore's 16 hits came via the long ball, with J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Danny Valencia all depositing homers. It was Davis's MLB-leading 16th homer and his 45 RBI rank second behind only Miguel Cabrera.

Nick Markakis finished 3-for-5 with three RBI out of the leadoff spot, while Manny Machado and Davis also collected three hits.

"When we got a ball over the plate, it seemed like we didn't miss it," Markakis said. "That's the main objective of hitting - when you get your pitch, don't miss it."

It wasn't always smooth sailing for Chris Tillman (4-2), as he allowed 10 hits over five innings of work, but he surrendered only three runs while striking out seven to earn the win.

For Toronto, Nolin was roughed up in his major-league debut, lasting just 1 1/3 innings while yielding seven hits and six earned runs. He was 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in three starts at Double-A New Hampshire prior to his call up.

"I think I just had too much energy going," Nolin said. "I kind of felt like I already threw a few innings, kind of wasted some gas without doing anything."

The Blue Jays also got involved with the slugfest, as Melky Cabrera, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie all left the yard as well. Despite piecing together 17 hits, the squad was plagued by leaving nine runners on base.

The Orioles will send journeyman right-hander Freddy Garcia to the hill on Saturday. Garcia has been effective in terms of base runners, boasting an impressive WHIP (1.07) and batting average against (.222), but he's allowed six home runs over 22 1/3 innings this season, ultimately resulting in an 0-2 record with a 4.84 ERA.

Garcia was solid in a May 20 no-decision versus the Yankees, allowing three hits, two walks and two earned runs in six innings of work.

Over the course of his 15-year career, Garcia has made 19 starts against the Blue Jays, going 8-8 with a 5.85 ERA.

Toronto will counter with R.A. Dickey. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner has gotten off to a modest start with his new team in 2013, sporting a 4-5 record with a 4.50 ERA.

Dickey has curbed his struggles of late with back-to-back gems. After striking out 10 over six innings in a May 14 win over San Francisco, the knuckleballer pitched eight strong innings against Tampa Bay on May 20, allowing four hits and two earned runs in the victory.

"I've felt like I've been stuck in a quagmire for the last week, two weeks," Dickey said. "So it's nice to feel like you've got at least one foot out of it. I'm not going to say I feel great ... I'm hopeful to continue to progress. But I'm not all the way there yet."

Baltimore took two of three from the Jays earlier in the year.