Halladay missed a chance to win his 12th consecutive start on Friday, when the Blue Jays beat visiting Montreal 6-5. The 26-year-old right-hander was pulled after eight innings with the game tied at 5. He allowed five earned runs and nine hits.
Halladay was trying to join Bob Gibson, Pat Dobson and Brad Radke as the only pitchers since 1950 to win 12 consecutive starts. However, he said he understood why manager Carlos Tosca took him out.
“Going out and trying to win one more game in a row isn’t as important as us winning the game,” said Halladay, who is four wins shy of the team record (15) for consecutive decisions set by Roger Clemens in 1998.
Halladay, tied with four others for the major league lead in victories, is 6-1 against the Tigers with a 1.97 ERA in seven games, including six starts. He also boasts a 7-1 road record with a 3.27 ERA.
The Blue Jays, second in the majors in scoring with 505 runs, have scored just six runs while losing four straight—including 5-0 on Tuesday.
Carlos Delgado, one RBI short of becoming the ninth player in major league history to have 90 by the All-Star break, went 0-for-3 with a walk. Delgado still leads the AL with 26 homers, and his 89 RBIs tops the majors.
The Tigers have won two straight since ending a nine-game losing streak.
STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 3rd place, 6 1/2 GB, AL East. Tigers - 5th place, 23 GB, AL Central.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Halladay (11-2, 3.70 ERA). Halladay got his 500th strikeout in the first inning on Friday, finishing with 503 for his five-year career. He hasn’t lost since April 15 in a 5-0 road decision to the New York Yankees.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Adam Bernero (1-11, 5.79 ERA). Since his lone victory on May 31 against the visiting Yankees, Bernero has lost five straight starts, giving up at least three earned runs four times. In an 8-3 home loss to Arizona on Friday, the right-hander gave up four earned runs and six hits while walking four in 6 1-3 innings. Bernero is 0-1 with a with a 2.79 ERA in two appearances, including one start, against the Blue Jays.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Blue Jays - Vernon Wells, .306 avg.; Delgado, 26 HRs, 89 RBIs and 68 runs; Orlando Hudson, 4 SBs. Tigers - Dmitri Young, .297 avg., 15 HRs, 45 RBIs and 39 runs; Alex Sanchez, 14 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tigers, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - 3B Eric Hinske is 4-for-22 (.192) since returning from the DL with a broken hand June 26. … The Blue Jays put utilityman Dave Berg on the 15-day DL because he’s been getting tired easily lately. … To take Berg’s place on the roster, Toronto recalled 3B Howie Clark from Triple-A Syracuse. Tigers - RF Bobby Higginson missed his third straight start Tuesday because of back and leg injuries. … OF Young is batting .448 (13-for-29) during an eight-game hitting streak. … CF Sanchez is batting .348 (8-for-23) during a six-game hitting streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 24-19 on the road; Tigers - 8-32 at home.
INJURIES: Blue Jays - 2B Berg (fatigue); 15-day DL; RHP Cliff Politte (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL. Tigers - OF Gene Kingsale (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Danny Patterson (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL.