Kansas City (46-84) at Toronto (68-60)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 27° F
  • Game info: 4:07 pm EDT Sat Aug 26, 2006
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The Toronto Blue Jays have recorded nearly one-third of their wins with ace Roy Halladay on the mound.

They hope to continue that trend Saturday when they meet the Kansas City Royals (46-84) in the middle contest of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.

Halladay (16-3, 3.18 ERA) is looking to win his fourth straight start and ninth decision in his last 10. The right-hander leads the majors in wins and ranks among the best in ERA and innings pitched (184).

The 29-year-old veteran is on pace to surpass his career-best 22 wins recorded in 2003, when he won the AL Cy Young Award. Halladay took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday and limited Baltimore to two runs and four hits over seven innings in a 9-2 victory.

“(Halladay) was great. He’s been great for us all year long. That’s the way he’s capable of pitching,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “The bottom line is he shut down a hot team.”

Halladay shut down the Royals in his only start against them this season, allowing only one run and four hits in an 11-3 win on July 9. He threw 61 of his 90 pitches for strikes, walking one and striking out six.

Halladay is 7-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Royals.

One of Halladay’s biggest assets this season has been his ability to raise the play of his entire team. The Blue Jays are 21-5 when Halladay takes the mound and have averaged 6.75 runs in support for the right-hander.

He will try to help Toronto (68-60) win consecutive games for the first time in two weeks after it beat Kansas City 6-3 in Friday’s series opener. Third baseman Troy Glaus hit a two-run single—his 1,000th career hit—to help the Blue Jays rebound from consecutive series losses to Baltimore and Oakland.

Toronto has won three straight against the Royals, who have dropped three straight games overall and five of their last six overall.

Runelvys Hernandez (3-8, 7.50) looks to bounce back from another short outing when he takes the ball for Kansas City. The right-hander allowed four runs, six hits and four walks while striking out two over 4 2-3 innings of a 6-4 loss to Oakland on Sunday.

Hernandez has pitched six or more innings in only five of his 14 starts this season.

“He just had inconsistent command,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “Not entirely out of it but it just left him at times.”

Hernandez has struggled on the road this season, going 1-4 with an 8.36 ERA and a .378 opponent batting average in six starts. He is 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA in five career starts versus the Blue Jays and will need to stifle Frank Catalanotto, who is 7-for-15 with two doubles and a triple during his career against Hernandez.

One day after the Royals announced first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz will undergo back surgery, they learned right fielder Reggie Sanders will have season-ending left knee surgery. The 38-year-old Sanders, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, hit .246 this season with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Hernandez Hou vs. R. Halladay Tor
6-10 Record 16-5
6.48 ERA 3.19
50 K 132
48 BB 34
1.76 WHIP 1.10

Scoreboard

Saturday, Aug 26