Halladay (7-1, 2.81 ERA) has won six in a row for the first time since 2003, when he won 15 consecutive decisions from May 1-July 27 en route to a 22-7 record and his first AL Cy Young Award.
His last time out, the right-hander allowed two runs in eight innings of a 6-2 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday. He struck out one and didn’t walk a batter for the third straight start to extend his streak to 23 2-3 innings without issuing a free pass.
“Every time he’s on the mound you feel you can win,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “There’s a guarantee he’s going to give you a chance, let’s put it that way.”
Halladay is 11-4 with a 2.97 ERA lifetime against the Orioles, the most wins he’s collected against any opponent.
Toronto (33-25) improved to 4-2 on its seven-game road trip and 10-5 in its last 15 games overall.
A win Thursday would clinch the Blue Jays’ fifth straight series victory.
Bengie Molina singled twice Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to nine games, during which he is batting .389 (14-for-36) with four doubles and three RBIs.
Rookie left-hander Adam Loewen makes his second straight start against a former Cy Young Award winner when he takes the mound Thursday.
The 22-year-old Loewen didn’t figure in the decision, but allowed just three runs and struck out four in five innings of a 6-5, 10-inning loss.
Halladay won his Cy Young Award the same year Loewen made his debut at Class A Aberdeen.
“I’ve got this funny feeling about him, that he doesn’t mind a challenge,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo saidof Loewen. “The fact that he can come up in the big leagues and focus a little bit and concentrate—he’s accepted the challenge and gone out there.”
Tejada singled twice Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
Following this series, Baltimore will open a 10-game road trip Friday with the first of three games at Minnesota.