Halladay looks to put his struggles at Rangers Ballpark behind him as he tries to help the Blue Jays (5-5) to back-to-back victories on Saturday when they continue their three-game series with the Rangers.
Halladay (1-1, 4.20 ERA) went 5-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 16 road starts last season, and endured a rough outing at Rangers Ballpark, where he was tagged for nine runs and a career high-tying 12 hits in an 11-4 loss on May 5. That defeat dropped him to 3-3 with a 7.00 ERA in 10 appearances in Arlington.
Still, the right-hander is 6-5 with a 5.86 ERA in 17 overall games versus the Rangers, and he is 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last six starts against them.
Halladay hopes his recent success against the Rangers will carry over into 2008, and he can start by following up his victory over Boston from Sunday. He gave up four runs and eight hits in eight innings of a 7-4 victory as the Blue Jays capped a three-game sweep of the defending World Series champions.
Halladay will now try to help Toronto win consecutive outings in Arlington for the first time since the club had a four-game winning streak there from Aug. 26, 2000-May 19, 2001.
Like Halladay, the Blue Jays have struggled to win in Texas, and Friday’s 8-5 victory was just their seventh in their last 29 games at Rangers Ballpark since 2002. Toronto now has a chance to take its first series at Texas (5-5) since winning two of three games from Aug. 25-27, 2000.
“The last three games, we haven’t been as aggressive as we had been the first week,” said Wells, who is batting .341 (14-for-41) with three homers and 12 RBIs. “Once we got on base, we wanted to make things happen. We’re not going to hit home runs all the time. Sometimes you have to manufacture runs.”
Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton did the same for his team on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a homer and career-high four RBIs in the defeat.
The Rangers were denied in their attempt to move two games above .500 for the first time since Sept. 22, 2006.
“We’ve got to play better and cleaner,” said first baseman Ben Broussard, noting the Rangers’ season high-tying three errors. “Today we played flat.”
They’ll be hoping to play better behind Luis Mendoza (NR) as he makes his debut after starting the season on the disabled list with a blister on his pitching hand.
The rookie right-hander, who has never faced Toronto, was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts and six overall appearances in 2007.