Roy Halladay looks to avoid losing three straight starts for just the second time in his career when he takes the mound Tuesday for the Toronto Blue Jays in the middle contest of their three-game series with the Cleveland Indians.
Halladay (16-5, 3.29 ERA) is coming off his worst outing of the year after allowing a season-high six runs over seven innings of a 6-4 loss at Boston on Thursday. He also gave up two homers for the second straight start—both losses — after allowing three in his previous seven appearances.
The right-hander has suffered three straight defeats only once in his career, from July 9-Sept. 21, 2004.
One of the home runs he allowed to the Red Sox came on a bizarre play. With the game tied at 4-4 in the seventh inning, Alex Cora hit a pitch into deep right field and when Toronto outfielder Alex Rios tried to catch it, the ball hit his glove and bounced toward his bare right hand.
Rios then tried to catch the ball barehanded, but instead swatted it into the stands.
“Things like that happen,” Halladay said. “That’s always going to be the case. You do the best you can to deal with it.”
Halladay is 4-0 with a 3.64 ERA and two complete games in eight appearances — including seven starts—against the Indians (65-71), but hasn’t faced them since May 15, 2005.
The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner will be looking to lead the Blue Jays (72-66) to their fourth straight victory after they beat the Indians 4-3 in the series opener on Monday.
Cleveland second baseman Hector Luna homered and Victor Martinez hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the fifth, but Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer off C.C. Sabathia in the sixth to give Toronto a 4-2 lead.
Ryan Garko homered for the Indians in the eighth to cut the lead to one, and Toronto closer B.J. Ryan then came on to load the bases with one out before forcing Andy Marte to pop out and striking out Sizemore.
“We just couldn’t get it done,” Sizemore said.
Hafner missed his third straight game because of a bruised right hand, and is listed as day-to-day.
Cleveland has dropped two straight, but is 18-7 since Aug. 9.
The Indians will hand the ball to Jeremy Sowers (6-3, 3.42), who has won his last five decisions. The rookie left-hander allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings against Toronto in Cleveland’s 3-2, 10-inning victory on Wednesday.
“I felt good, but just couldn’t get the out I needed in the sixth,” he said.
Sowers is 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA in eight starts since July 22, when he pitched the first of consecutive shutouts. General manager Mark Shapiro said the Indians intend to curtail the 23-year-old’s workload in September to protect him for next season.