On Wednesday, Halladay pitched his third complete game of the season, giving up three earned runs and nine hits in a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The right-hander, who threw 108 pitches in his eighth career complete game, struck out six and walked none while becoming the first pitcher in baseball to earn his 16th win. Russ Ortiz of the Atlanta Braves won his 16th on Friday.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Halladay said. “I think it’s coincidental more than anything, just with the team scoring a lot of runs for me. It’s nice.”
However, he bounced back nicely Wednesday, winning his major league-best 10th at home and drawing the admiration of his manager and teammates.
“I don’t know what Cy Young looked like, but he ain’t got nothing on Doc,” Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said.
Infielder Dave Berg agreed.
“He’s pretty much one of the studs in the league,” he said. “Every time he pitches you feel like there’s a good chance of you winning.”
The Blue Jays come in off Monday’s 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners—their third victory in five games.
Seattle will receive a lift Tuesday when right-handed reliever Kazuhiro Sasaki is activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Sasaki, who has been on the DL since June 10 with fractured ribs, will not return immediately to his closer’s role, instead taking on less stressful assignments while he readjusts.
Sasaki has pitched 19 2-3 innings this season, going 1-1 with a 4.12 ERA and 10 saves in 15 chances. His replacement, All-Star right-hander Shigetoshi Hasegawa is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities, and has not yielded an earned run since June 1.
STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 3rd place, 12 GB, AL East. Mariners - 1st place, AL West.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Halladay (16-3, 3.40 ERA). Halladay is 2-2 with a 3.25 ERA in seven career appearances, including five starts, against the Mariners.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Freddy Garcia (9-12, 5.45 ERA). Garcia gave up two earned runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings of Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians—his sixth straight setback. In 10 career appearances against the Blue Jays, he is 4-3 with a 5.68 ERA.
SEASON SERIES: Blue Jays, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - The Blue Jays have lost three of their last four series. … INF Mike Bordick, who sat out Monday, is in the midst of a career-high 18-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the American League. … C Kevin Cash, called up from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday, went 0-for-4 on Monday. Mariners - Seattle has won 27 of its last 38 games against Toronto. … LHP Arthur Rhodes’ ERA has swelled from 1.77 on June 27 to 4.36 in a span of 15 appearances. … RHP Armando Benitez, traded from the New York Yankees last week for LHP Jeff Nelson, made his home debut with the Mariners on Monday. He threw 1 1-3 perfect innings, striking out two.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 33-27 on the road; Mariners - 35-25 at home.
INJURIES: Blue Jays - RHP Cory Lidle (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (calf), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (calf), 60-day DL. Mariners - 3B Jeff Cirillo (shoulder), 15-day DL; INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; SS Carlos Guillen (pelvis), 15-day DL.