BALTIMORE (AP) -- When he earned his ninth win on June 28, Kris Benson figured he wouldn't have to wait too long before he reached double digits in victories for the fourth time in his career.
Fifty-one days later, Benson finally got win No. 10."It seemed like an eternity," the right-hander said Friday night after throwing seven innings to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2.Benson (10-9) was 0-4 in his previous six starts, even though he gave up three earned runs or fewer in half those appearances."I had a couple chances to get one, but it slipped away," he said. "Now I just need two more to get a career high."Benson gave up two runs and six hits, striking out five and walking none to improve to 4-1 against Toronto this year."There are just some teams that you perform well against and some you don't. This year, they're just one of those teams I've thrown well against," he said. "I know how they swing the bats, so I prepared myself well going into each start against these guys."Melvin Mora went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI and Nick Markakis and Miguel Tejada also had three hits for the Orioles, who took a 6-0 lead against Scott Downs (6-2) in the second inning.That made it easier for Benson to get Baltimore's third straight win."It's always nice when they give you a little room to breathe and relax, so you can sit back and try to get a victory out of it," he said.Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus hit successive homers for the Blue Jays in the sixth inning, the third time this season they connected back-to-back. But that was the extent of the damage against Benson."Benson's had our number this year. He's held us in check pretty good," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.Baltimore went up 3-0 in the first inning. Markakis singled with one out before Mora hit his 13th homer, the first since July 31. Tejada followed with a double and, after Kevin Millar received an intentional walk with two outs, Corey Patterson blooped an RBI single to right.The Orioles used five consecutive singles to make it 6-0 in the second. Three hits loaded the bases for Mora, who singled in two runs. Tejada then chased Downs with an RBI single."It was just one of those nights where you try to throw strikes and get some groundballs and the groundballs find the hole," Downs said. "Long night."Downs was 4-1 with a 1.47 ERA since the All-Star break. Making his fifth start of the year, the left-hander yielded six runs and nine hits in 1 1/3 innings, raising his ERA from 4.03 to 4.82."I feel like I'm strong. I feel like my location is good," he said. "Tonight, some pitches weren't located where they should have been, and the ones that were, they were the ones that found holes. You fall behind a couple of counts and it kind of snowballs from there."Davis Romero followed Downs and allowed one hit -- a double by Markakis -- over 2 2/3 innings in his major-league debut.Benson, meanwhile, allowed only three runners until the sixth, when Wells hit his 28th homer and Glaus followed with No. 32.Singles by Mora, Tejada and Jeff Conine made it 7-2 in the seventh.
Tejada went 3-for-4 and is 25-for-67 (.373) with 14 RBI against Toronto this season. ... The Blue Jays have hit consecutive homers nine times this year. ... Baltimore last won three straight from July 15-17. ... The Blue Jays recalled catcher Jason Phillips from Triple-A Syracuse. He took the roster spot created when Toronto optioned right-hander Francisco Rosario to Syracuse on Thursday. ... Glaus was 0-for-14 against Benson before the homer.