Devil Rays 5, Blue Jays 2

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TORONTO (AP)—A hit batter might have hurt Roy Halladay’s chances of winning the AL Cy Young Award.

Halladay lost an opportunity to notch his 22nd win when he was ejected Monday night, and Rob Bell held Toronto hitless for six innings as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-2 to snap a four-game losing streak.

Halladay (21-7) was tossed in the sixth for hitting Rocco Baldelli with a pitch. After giving up a leadoff home run to Julio Lugo and a single to Aubrey Huff, Halladay hit Baldelli hit in the back with his first pitch.

Plate umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Halladay, who put up his arms in disbelief.

Halladay had to calm down before talking to the media.

“I don’t know what he had in mind or what he thought,” Halladay said of Cuzzi. “I think he only knows that. It’s tough because you want to stay in, but there is really nothing you can do at that point.”

Cuzzi declined to comment after the game.

Before the game, warnings were issued to both clubs about hitting batters. Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said he didn’t tell Halladay about the warning.

Halladay and Tosca argued with Cuzzi for several minutes as fans booed. The right-hander also hit Damian Rolls with a pitch in the fourth.

Halladay, a leading contender for the Cy Young Award, entered with a 3.18 ERA. He left trailing 1-0.

“I wanted a chance to win,” Halladay said.

Tosca said he didn’t think the ejection and loss would hurt Halladay’s Cy Young chances.

“I hope not,” Tosca said.

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he complained to Sandy Alderson, the executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner’s office.

“I talked to Sandy Alderson and obviously he’s got to see what their version is. It’s unfortunate. Doc is out there trying to win a Cy Young and he gets charged with three earned runs,” Ricciardi said.

Halladay allowed three runs on five hits in five-plus innings. He struck out eight and walked none.

Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella wasn’t upset when Halladay was ejected.

“There’s no question that Halladay is extremely tough. He’s as good a pitcher as there is in this league,” Piniella said.

Dan Reichert, who relieved Halladay, walked Travis Lee before Rolls hit a two-run single. Marlon Anderson followed with an RBI single, giving Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead.

Cuzzi also ejected Tampa Bay’s Toby Hall for arguing in the sixth.

Halladay had not allowed an earned run in a club-record 41 innings before Lugo’s homer. The Toronto ace had thrown four consecutive complete games—he came in 4-0 with a 0.24 ERA in September.

Halladay’s ejection wasn’t the first trouble between the teams.

Tosca wrote a quote from Devil Rays’ outfielder Carl Crawford on a clubhouse message board before a game on Sept. 10. After Tampa Bay’s win on Sept. 9 Crawford said it seemed that when the Blue Jays get behind “they kind of let down a little bit.”

Over the weekend the Blue Jays ran an advertisement that showed Halladay, Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells under the words “A chance for Carl Crawford and the Devil Rays to see real All-Stars up close.”

In the fourth inning, the Blue Jays posted Crawford’s quote on the JumboTron.

“If that’s what they want to do get their team fired up, let them do that. I don’t see a reason for it,” said Crawford, who had an RBI single.

Bell (5-4) took a no-hit bid into the seventh before Wells doubled leading off the inning. Bell then got two outs before Bobby Kielty chased him with an RBI double.

The 26-year-old right-hander allowed one run and two hits, striking out four and walking one in 6 2-3 innings.

Chad Gaudin, Joe Kennedy and Lance Carter followed Bell and finished the four-hitter.

Reed Johnson later extended his hitting streak to 19 games with an RBIsingle off Kennedy, cutting Tampa Bay’s lead to 5-2.


Halladay is scheduled to make one more start this season, Saturday against Cleveland. … The Blue Jays have scored a total of 13 runs in Halladay’s seven losses. … Lugo’s homer was the first earned run allowed by Halladay since the first inning of an 8-1 win over the New York Yankees on Sept. 1. … Johnson’s hitting streak is a team rookie record, and the longestby an AL rookie this season.

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