Halladay tries again for his major league-leading ninth victory Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels.
Toronto (29-24) saw Halladay (8-1, 2.63 ERA) win five straight starts from April 26-May 17, but he’s failed to receive decisions in his last two.
It’s not because the right-hander hasn’t pitched well. He threw seven scoreless innings May 22 in a 1-0 loss at Atlanta, and gave up three runs over seven innings Wednesday at Baltimore before the bullpen blew a five-run lead. The Blue Jays eventually lost 12-10 in 11 innings.
Halladay is 7-5 with a 4.35 ERA in career 15 outings against the Angels, against whom he is looking to win a third straight start. He beat Los Angeles (25-24) on May 6 in Anaheim by allowing one run over eight innings of a 13-1 victory.
The Blue Jays had their six-game home winning streak snapped Sunday with an 8-2 loss to Boston. Major league hits leader Aaron Hill(notes) saw his 13-game hitting streak come to an end after he went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Despite that streak, Hill has scored just three runs and driven in four over his last 13 contests.
Toronto has split 18 games against left-handed starters, and will face another southpaw in Joe Saunders(notes) (6-3, 3.26) on Tuesday. Saunders is 1-2 with a 3.62 ERA in four career starts versus the Blue Jays.
Last Tuesday, he gave up three runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 4-2 home loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Los Angeles will try to carry momentum from its most thrilling win of the season into its nine-game road trip. The Angels rallied from a seven-run deficit Sunday at home, culminating when Kendry Morales(notes) capped a three-run ninth inning with a bases-loaded single for a 9-8 victory over Seattle.
It was the Angels’ biggest comeback to win since July 15, 1996, at Texas.
“We had some great at-bats in the ninth, and it paid off with the win,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “The bullpen got outs that kept us in the game, and we didn’t quit.”
Even after the dramatics, Los Angeles only wound up with a 2-4 homestand.
“We had a rough week, I’m not going to lie,” Hunter told the Angels’ official Web site. “Today we battled, fought back. We’ll take this on the road with us.”
The Angels won two of three last season in their lone visit to Toronto, where they have lost 15 of 22 games since 2003. The teams split two games in Anaheim last month.