July 30, 2016 3:24 pm

Blue Jays take first place in AL East, hammer Orioles 9-1

Toronto Blue Jays' Devon Travis rounds third base after hitting a solo home run during fifth inning MLB baseball action against the Baltimore Orioles, in Toronto on Saturday, July 30, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jon Blacker
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TORONTO – Devon Travis hit a home run, Kevin Pillar drove in four, and the Blue Jays used a seven-run fifth inning en route to a 9-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon that moved Toronto into sole position of first place in the American League East.

Shut out through the first four innings, the Blue Jays (59-45) sent 11 batters to the plate in their decisive seven-run fifth.

The offensive outburst backed a solid start from left-hander J.A. Happ (14-3), who struck out 11 and allowed one run on two hits through seven innings.

READ MORE: Blue Jays close gap for AL East lead, beat Orioles 6-5

Toronto trailed 1-0 heading into the fifth and started rolling with a one-out home run from Travis. Baltimore pitchers then walked four of the next five batters, including an intentional walk to Michael Saunders.

Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin and Pillar combined to drive in five runs with doubles in the fifth. Troy Tulowitzki earned an RBI for a bases-loaded walk.

Pedro Alvarez accounted for the lone run for the Orioles (58-44) with a home run.

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