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Blue Jays use long ball to pound Orioles

TORONTO (AP) -- Alex Rios has a big fan in Baltimore Orioles
third baseman Melvin Mora.

Rios, Frank Catalanotto and Vernon Wells homered to lead the
Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-3 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday
night.

Rios has four home runs in his last four games. He's hitting
.341 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI and eight stolen bases, but isn't
on the ballot for the All-Star game in Pittsburgh.

Mora thinks that Rios should be the first All-Star reserve named
for the American League team.

"He's the first guy who should be there," said Mora, who told
Rios that earlier in the series. "He's hitting .340, he plays a
good right field, hits for power. He needs to be there."

Rios, who leads all players in write-in votes, would love to go.

"It would be great. It's every players dream," Rios said.
"It's been a great season so far."

He lost his job as the everyday right fielder over the offseason
and was supposed to platoon with Eric Hinske, but his strong play
won him the job outright.

Rios hit only 10 home runs in 481 at-bats last year after
hitting just one in 426 at-bats. He's a five-tool talent, but his
lack of power in games and hustle in the field prompted the
offseason demotion.

"He's fun to watch. He's got all the ability in the world and
he's starting to trust himself a little more and know that it takes
to be succesful," Wells said. "The sky is the limit for him. He's
that good."

Rios and Catalanotto hit back-to-back homers in the first off
Rodrigo Lopez (4-8) -- the first two batters the right-hander faced.
It was the seventh time this season Toronto has hit consecutive
home runs.

Wells hit a solo shot off Lopez in the third for the Blue Jays,
who have won two straight following a three-game losing skid.

Vinny Chulk (1-0) pitched an inning for the win.

B.J. Ryan pitched two hitless innings for his 16th save in 17
chances. Ryan signed a five-year, $47 million contract -- the
richest ever for a reliever -- in the offseason.

Toronto's bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings.

"We scored four runs early and our bullpen held it for us,"
Wells said.

Miguel Tejada went 3-for-4 for the Orioles, who have lost two
straight.

After Rios and Catalanotto homered in the first, Wells walked
before later scoring on Lyle Overbay's RBI single.

Jeff Conine had an RBI single in the second and Baltimore tied
it in the third on run-scoring singles by Tejada and Kevin Millar
off Toronto starter Scott Downs.

Wells' homer in the bottom half of the third gave Toronto a 4-3
lead and Catalanotto's RBI single and Wells' run-scoring double in
the fourth made it 6-3.

Lopez allowed six runs and seven hits in just 3 2/3 innings.
Lopez won his previous three decisions.

Downs started in place of the injured Gustavo Chacin, who is
expected to miss at least a month with a sore left elbow. Downs
will return to the bullpen, as Toronto won't need a fifth starter
with off days coming up.

Game notes
The Orioles placed RF Jay
Gibbons on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, only two days after
he came off it. Gibbons left Tuesday night's game in the third
inning after re-injuring his right knee during an at-bat. The
injury stems from a spill he took while trying to catch a fly ball
in a May 26 game against the Angels. ... Baltimore RF Luis Matos
stood looking for the ball in right in the fourth it as it bounced
off the wall behind him for a double by Gregg Zaun.