Roy Halladay won’t have to worry about going head-to-head with Pedro Martinez for the fourth time this season when the Toronto Blue Jays open a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Bronson Arroyo may prove just as difficult to beat based on the way he pitched in his last outing.
Halladay, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, has already gone up against Martinez three times this season, posting a 1-2 mark in those encounters. After losing his first two matchups with the Boston ace, Halladay finally got the best of Martinez on Sunday at SkyDome.
The right-hander yielded one run and six hits over seven strong innings, striking out six and walking two to lead the Blue Jays to a 3-1 victory.
“You don’t always walk away with wins against teams or pitchers like that, but when you do it’s a great feeling,” Halladay said after evening his overall record at 4-4.
Last year, Halladay went a career-best 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA.
Though Martinez won’t start until Saturday night against Toronto left-hander Ted Lilly, Arroyo is coming off a brilliant effort in his new role as Boston’s fifth starter. The right-hander scattered three hits over eight innings, striking out six without a walk as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-0 last Saturday.
“It was a good time to have a good performance,” said Arroyo, who took over for Byung-Hyun Kim after the Korean right-hander was demoted to the minors last weekend.
“I let them know that I’m good enough to go deep in the game and win some games. It’s going to be like this every time I go out there. I’m not really an established guy in the league.”
The Blue Jays split four games against Boston last weekend before dropping two of three to Minnesota, including Wednesday’s 6-5 loss. Toronto took a 5-2 lead into the ninth, but Matt LeCroy’s pinch-hit grand slam homer off reliever Terry Adams handed the Blue Jays their third straight series loss.
The Red Sox failed to complete a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay on Thursday, suffering a 9-6 loss to the Devil Rays. Jason Varitek homered and Johnny Damon had a two-run double for Boston, which had won four its previous five games.