Blue Jays 5, Indians 4
TORONTO (AP)—Becoming the only 22-game winner in baseball and setting a new club record for wins meant a great deal to Roy Halladay.
Halladay (22-7) surpassed Roger Clemens and Jack Morris for the team record in wins.
“This was pretty special to me,” said the normally reserved Halladay, who pumped his fist after the last out. “Sometimes you don’t put an emphasis on numbers, but when you get a chance, and things come together, it’s just an unbelievable feeling.”
The 26-year-old right-hander, the leading contender for the AL Cy Young Award, allowed four runs on eight hits, while striking out nine and walking one. He tied Mark Mulder for the most complete games in the majors.
“I don’t think I’ve seen him this excited,” catcher Kevin Cash said. “I know the 20th win was his big for him, but that one right there, he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”
Halladay, who leads the majors with 266 innings pitched, had a chance at his 22nd win on Monday, but lost 5-2 to Tampa Bay. The right-hander was ejected in that game for hitting Rocco Baldelli with a pitch, and left trailing 1-0 after five innings.
“I’ve said for a month that Roy is Cy Young. He might be Cy Young reincarnated,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.
“It would be a great honor” to win the award, Halladay said.
After embracing his teammates on the field, he acknowledged the cheers from the crowd of 21,504 at SkyDome. His wife was in tears.
“He’s my pick for Cy Young,” Cleveland’s Casey Blake said. “I can see why he’ll win it, and what a great story it is. He was down and out a few years ago. He hit rock bottom. They sent him to A-ball. He got hit around, but somebody got a hold of him and changed his arm slot and boom, he’s a new guy.”
Halladay made his major league debut in 1998, but he was demoted all the way to Class A at the start of the 2001 season. He worked his way back to the majors later that year and went 19-7 with a 2.93 ERA last season.
“Every guy that reaches first base tells me that he’s the nastiest guy they’ve faced,” Toronto first baseman Carlos Delgado said. “I hear that day in and day out.”
Vernon Wells set a Toronto record with his 214th and 215th hits of the season.
The Blue Jays reached management’s preseason goal of 85 wins.
“This is by far the best team I’ve ever been on,” Delgado said.
A fielding error by second baseman Brandon Phillips in the second allowed Toronto’s first run to score.
Cleveland starter Terry Mulholland (3-4) loaded the bases in the third by giving up a single to Wells and a walk to Josh Phelps and Bobby Kielty before Mike Bordick hit a two-run single. Orlando Hudson followed with an RBI single, giving Toronto a 4-2 lead.
Mulholland allowed five runs—four earned—on 10 hits in seven innings. He made his first start in Toronto since Game 6 of the 1993 World Series when he pitched for Philadelphia.
Toronto’s Kevin Cash hit his first major league home run in the sixth,giving Toronto a 5-3 lead. Phillips’ RBI double in the seventh cut it to 5-4.
Halladay went 5-1 with a 1.41 ERA in September. He finished the season with a 3.25 ERA. … Halladay went 10-2 at SkyDome. … The Indians have 18rookies on their roster.