Toronto (73-72) at Tampa Bay (58-85)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 2:15 pm EDT Thu Sep 11, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Fresh off one of the most impressive pitching performances in recent history, Roy Halladay looks to become the first 20-game winner in the majors as the Toronto Blue Jays conclude a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

On Saturday, Halladay gave up just three hits in 10 innings of a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers, recording the first extra-inning shutout since Jack Morris did it for Minnesota in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against Atlanta.

“I really didn’t want to come out,” said Halladay. “I felt like I had at least two more.”

The hard-throwing right-hander did not allow a hit until the eighth inning and threw just 99 pitches, 70 for strikes.

“In the last four or five starts, I felt really good physically,” he said. “Sometimes you feel good and overthrow, do all of that other stuff that comes along with it.

“We’ve made some adjustments in the workout program, like we usually do. We’ll just keep playing it by ear. I feel good, so hopefully we’ll keep it going.”

Halladay matched his career high for victories, set last season. He is looking to become the Blue Jays’ first 20-game winner since David Wells in 2000.

Morris, Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens are the only other pitchers in Toronto history to win 20 games. Clemens and Morris are tied for the club’s all-time record with 21 victories.

”(Twenty wins) is not something I’ve thought about a whole lot,” said Halladay. “That’s more for the offseason. Right now, I just want to try to continue to make good pitches and help this team win.”

Esteban Loaiza of the Chicago White Sox, Halladay’s main competition for the AL Cy Young Award, will also bid for his 20th win Thursday against Minnesota.

On Wednesday, the Blue Jays beat the Devil Rays 6-5 for their fourth win in six games.

Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back homers in the seventh inning, and Eric Hinske went 2-for-3 with a double and a homer for the Blue Jays.

Aubrey Huff homered and Carl Crawford went 3-for-5 for the Devil Rays, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Tampa Bay is trying to win its third straight series.

STANDINGS: Blue Jays - 3rd place, 15 1/2 GB, AL East. Devil Rays - 5th place, 29 1/2 GB, AL East.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Halladay (19-6, 3.42 ERA). Halladay is 2-1 with a 4.27 ERA in nine career appearances, including six starts, against the Devil Rays.

DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeremi Gonzalez (6-8, 3.92 ERA). Gonzalez gave up three earned runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-1 loss to Oakland on Friday, his third straight setback and fourth in six decisions. In his only career start against the Blue Jays, the right-hander gave up four earned runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of Tampa Bay’s 9-8 win on July 28. He did not receive a decision.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Blue Jays - Wells, .318 avg.; Delgado, 35 HRs and 125 RBIs; Wells and Delgado, 105 runs; Hinske, 8 SBs. Devil Rays - Huff, .315 avg., 30 HRs, 97 RBIs and 81 runs; Crawford, 48 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Devil Rays, 10-4.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - 1B Delgado’s homer was his first since Aug. 27. … Twelve of 3B Hinske’s last 20 hits have been doubles, and 57 of his 97 hits overall have been for extra bases. … SS Orlando Hudson committed a throwing error Wednesday, just his third miscue in the past 64 games. Devil Rays - DH Huff became just the third player in Devil Rays history to hit 30 or more homers in a season. Jose Canseco (34) and Fred McGriff (32) both reached the plateau in 1999. … LF Crawford has a nine-game hitting streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 39-35 on the road; Devil Rays - 34-40 at home.

INJURIES: Blue Jays - LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL. Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; OF Ben Grieve (blood clot), 60-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Halladay Tor vs. G. Gonzalez Tor
22-7 Record 6-11
3.25 ERA 3.91
204 K 97
32 BB 69
1.07 WHIP 1.28