Blue Jays 6, Orioles 2
It was more of the same Wednesday night.
Halladay (10-2) gave up six hits, struck out five and walked none. The right-hander is the first Toronto pitcher to win 10 starts in a row, and the first Blue Jay to win 10 straight decisions since Roger Clemens had a 15-game run in 1998.
“I was focused on trying to go out and pitch well for one game,” Halladay said. “That’s really what I’m trying to do now, and not worry about the 10 games.”
Given the opponent, he probably didn’t have much to be concerned about. Halladay is 6-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his last six starts against the Orioles, and his eight wins against them is the most against any club.
The last major league pitcher to win 10 successive starts was Chuck Finley in 1997.
“He’s our horse. He’s got great intensity and great stuff,” said Bordick, who knows what it’s like being on the losing end of a game pitched by the Blue Jays’ ace. “Right now, Halladay is at the top of his game.”
Rookie Aquilino Lopez worked the final two innings to earn his first career save.
Halladay, who began his streak on May 1, improved to 15-2 in his last 17 decisions on the road. He gave up a two-run homer to Jay Gibbons but outpitched Baltimore starter Omar Daal (4-8), who yielded three runs and five hits in six innings.
The Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead in the fourth after two controversial plays. After Carlos Delgado walked and took second on a single by Tom Wilson, Delgado was called out for interfering with third baseman Tony Batista’s attempt to field a ground ball by Josh Phelps.
Toronto manager Carlos Tosca argued without success, but the Blue Jays got a break when umpire Gary Darling called Orlando Hudson safe at first on an apparent 3-6-1 double-play grounder. Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove left the dugout to complain, and replays seemed to back up his assessment.
“He said he didn’t step on the bag. From where I was standing, he did,” Hargrove said. “That goes our way, and maybe the game does, too.”
Chris Woodward then drew a walk before Bordick bounced a single up the middle. Bordick played with the Orioles from 1997-2002 before signing with Toronto as a free agent in December.
“I made just one mistake—throwing that pitch to Mike Bordick down the middle of the plate,” Daal said. “That was the play that cost me the game.”
Reed Johnson followed Bordick’s hit with an RBI double.
Daal then returned Frank Catalanotto on a grounder, but the damage was done.
“I thought he was out,” Daal said, contending that his foot was on the base when he caught the relay from Deivi Cruz.
“It was a weird inning,” Halladay said. “You have Carlos being called out and the guy being safe at first. But we took advantage. We’re the kind of team that if you give us a couple of chances, we’ll score runs.”
Gibbons hit his 13th homer with a man on in the bottom half. The drive extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games.
It was the first of 19 meetings between the two teams. Toronto went 15-4 vs. Baltimore last year. … Delgado went 1-for-2 with three walks. … Toronto IF Dave Berg is experiencing dizziness and disorientation, Tosca said. The Blue Jays hope the problem will clear up on its own and will not require any testing. … AL batting leader Melvin Mora went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. … Lopez has thrown 18 straight scoreless innings over 13appearances.