Halladay (3-0, 2.58 ERA) has won his first three decisions for the second time, also doing so in 2005. The right-hander is off to another fast start and has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four outings.
Halladay, winner of the 2003 AL Cy Young Award, struck out a season-high 10 over eight innings Tuesday in the Blue Jays’ 10-3 win over Boston. Halladay reached double figures in strikeouts for the sixth time in his career and the first since May 29, 2005, when he had 10 in a win against Minnesota.
“Phillips did a great job calling the game today,” Halladay told the team’s official Web site. “It’s one of those little things that’s important when you lose (Zaun) like that. … You do the best to make up for whatever losses that you have.”
Phillips and Sal Fasano have handled catching duties after Zaun was placed on the disabled list with a broken right thumb Wednesday.
Halladay is 4-4 with a 5.67 ERA in 13 starts against Texas. Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock is batting .391 (9-for-23) with two home runs and two doubles against Halladay.
Halladay may be expecting plenty of support based given how Toronto’s hitters have fared recently. Opposing starters are 1-4 with an 8.06 ERA in the last six games against the Blue Jays (12-12), who have scored seven runs or more four times in that span.
The Blue Jays look for a split of this series when they face struggling Vicente Padilla (0-3, 5.79 ERA). The Rangers have lost all five games Padilla has started and have scored just nine runs for him.
The right-hander gave up six runs - two earned - and five hits in four innings of the Rangers’ 8-7 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday night.
“Things are going to be better,” Padilla told the team’s official Web site. “Things will change, and I will have a little more luck. I’m pitching the way I want. I feel fine. I feel strong.”
Padilla is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in four road starts. He posted a 3.29 ERA in winning his only two career starts versus Toronto in July.
Toronto’s Troy Glaus was activated from the 15-day disabled list and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run Sunday. Glaus hadn’t played since April 12, when he left a game against Detroit after two innings because of a bone spur in his left heel.
The Rangers’ Ian Kinsler hit his ninth homer in the loss, tying the team record for home runs in April. Ivan Rodriguez (2000), Alex Rodriguez (2002) and Carl Everett (2003) also accomplished the feat.