TORONTO (AP) -- Mark Reynolds hit a three-run homer, Zach Britton pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight start and the Baltimore Orioles moved into a first-place tie in the AL East with a 12-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Baltimore’s third consecutive victory coupled with the Yankees’ loss at Tampa Bay gave the Orioles a share of first place in September for the first time since 1997, the last time they won the division and advanced to the playoffs.
Reynolds went 3 for 4 with four RBIs as the Orioles pounded out a season-high 18 hits.
Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to face the Blue Jays, Britton (5-1) allowed four hits and improved to 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA in four starts since his last loss on Aug. 1 against New York. The left-hander struck out eight and walked two, one intentional.
Kevin Gregg worked the eighth and Zach Phillips finished for the Orioles, who have won three straight and 21 of 29.
Struggling Toronto was held scoreless for the second straight game and has dropped four in a row.
Reynolds hit his 17th homer off Carlos Villanueva in the fifth. It also was his fifth homer in five games.
Nate McLouth added a sacrifice fly in the sixth, and the Orioles pulled away with a three-run seventh. Robert Andino chased Villanueva with a sacrifice fly, Aaron Loup’s balk scored Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy singled in Nick Markakis.
Baltimore added five more runs against Loup and Chad Beck in a 10-batter seventh. Chris Davis hit an RBI double, Reynolds and Machado each singled in a run, Markakis tacked on an RBI double and McLouth capped the outburst with an RBI single. The Orioles left the bases loaded when Adam Jones grounded into a double play.
Mechanical troubles with the retractable roof at Rogers Centre left the field slippery and damp during the middle innings as rain fell inside the stadium. The team apologized to fans after the roof was unable to close at the normal speed, leaving many people opening umbrellas to protect themselves from the elements.
Groundskeepers had to use drying agents on the mound and dirt cutouts around the bases before the bottom of the sixth inning as rain continued to fall on the infield. The roof finally closed in the bottom of the seventh.
The Blue Jays had a 26-minute delay in July 2003, when a sudden storm drenched the field before the roof could close during a game against the Chicago White Sox.
Rays 5, Yankees 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Evan Longoria hit a go-ahead homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat New York 5-2 on Tuesday night to drop the struggling Yankees into a tie for first place in the AL East.
Coupled with Baltimore’s 12-0 win at Toronto, the Yankees fell into a tie for the division lead with the surging Orioles after sitting atop the standings by themselves for 84 consecutive days -- New York’s longest streak since 2004.
Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton also homered for the third-place Rays, who pulled within 1 1/2 games of the Orioles and Yankees. Tampa Bay trailed by a season-high 10 1/2 games at the end of play on July 18.
Longoria hit a two-run shot off Freddy Garcia (7-6), wiping out a 2-1 deficit in the third inning.