Toronto, picked to be a contender in the AL this season after winning 86 games in 2003, has been among the league’s worst teams. Only Kansas City (34-57) has a poorer mark in the AL.
Making matters worse, the Blue Jays have yet to even see the best team in their division as the Yankees, who are 24 games above .500, were busy beating up on the rest of the AL.
Halladay, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, was scheduled to take the ball for the opener of this two-game set, but instead was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with what Dr. James Andrews described as a tired arm.
Though an MRI did not reveal any tears in Halladay’s pitching shoulder, Andrews recommended 4-to-6 weeks of rest for the hard-throwing right-hander.
Hentgen was replaced in the rotation by rookie David Bush after losing eight of his first 10 decisions. Bush was spectacular in his third career start on Tuesday, taking a no-hit bid into the eighth inning.
However, he was matched pitch-for-pitch by Oakland right-hander Rich Harden, and the Blue Jays eventually lost 1-0 in 14 innings for their seventh defeat in eight games.
The Yankees earned a split of their two-game set in Tampa Bay with a 4-2 triumph on Tuesday. Gary Sheffield hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Mariano Rivera earned his league-leading 34th save as New York completed its road trip at 3-3.
Derek Jeter left the game in the eighth inning after being hit on the hand by a pitch earlier in the game. The Yankees’ All-Star shortstop is listed as day-to-day.
“I’ve been hit on the hands plenty of times,” said Jeter, who is batting .278 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs. “It doesn’t feel good, but it will be all right. It’s pretty numb, but that’s normal.”
Center fielder Bernie Williams went 0-for-3 Tuesday and has just two hits in his last 40 at-bats.
“He’s battling,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “We’re going to have to get him through it because we need him, obviously.”