Toronto (13-16) at Texas (11-18)

Cloudy Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sat May 5, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Roy Halladay is showing why the Toronto Blue Jays could challenge for the AL East title. The Texas Rangers are still waiting for Vicente Padilla to contribute as they aim to keep pace in the AL West.

The two will square off for the second time in less than a week as the Blue Jays continue their weekend series with the Rangers on Saturday night.

On Monday in Toronto, Halladay (4-0, 2.28 ERA) pitched a five-hitter for his second complete game of 2007 as the Blue Jays won 6-1 in a contest that took just 2 hours, 2 minutes.

“It’s easier to stay aggressive when you’re working quickly,” said Halladay, who has gone at least seven innings in each of his last five starts. “I’m always conscious of tempo and trying to keep it at a quick pace. When things are going good and you’re getting ahead, I like working as quickly as I can.”

In 2003 en route to picking up the AL Cy Young Award, the right-hander won 11 straight starts from May 1-June 22—a run that began with back-to-back wins over the Rangers. Halladay is 3-2 with a 5.96 ERA in eight career starts in Texas, including a five-hitter in April 2005.

Padilla (0-4, 5.66) gave up four runs and six hits, including a season-high three homers, over seven innings in the loss.

“We really haven’t supported him,” Rangers rookie manager Ron Washington said. “We’ve made some mistakes behind him that cost him some innings that were big.”

Padilla has received just 10 runs of support in his six starts. The right-hander is making his first home start since allowing three runs and four hits over seven innings of a 3-2 loss to Boston on April 8.

He won the only home start of his career against Toronto, limiting the Jays to three runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings of a 9-3 victory on June 9.

Texas (11-18) snapped a season-high five-game skid with a 7-1 rout in the series opener on Friday night. Hank Blalock went 3-for-4 with a double, homer, two runs and three RBI to back Brandon McCarthy’s best start in a Rangers uniform.

McCarthy, acquired in the offseason from the Chicago White Sox, gave up one run and two hits with four walks through six innings and posted his first win since April 9.

“I was on a mission to throw more than three innings,” he said. “I needed a quality outing. I knew this was a big start. I needed to go back to the way I pitched before, just throw the ball.”

Sammy Sosa went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game after being hit in the head by a pitch during the Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees in the second game of a doubleheader on Thursday.

“I just got hit, I didn’t get shot,” Sosa told the Rangers’ official Web site.

Texas is in last place in the West, 5 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels.

Sal Fasano homered for the Blue Jays (13-16), losers of four in a row overall and 14 of their last 17 in Arlington. Toronto is in a four-way tie for second in the East—6 1/2 games in back of first-place Boston.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Halladay Tor vs. V. Padilla Bos
16-7 Record 6-10
3.71 ERA 5.76
139 K 71
48 BB 50
1.24 WHIP 1.63

Scoreboard

Saturday, May 5