Blue Jays 8, Devil Rays 1

Preview | Box Score | Recap

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Roy Halladay was masterful again.

Halladay pitched a three-hitter to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-1 on Saturday night.

Halladay (5-1) was coming off a four-hitter in the Blue Jays’ 5-1 win Monday over the Los Angeles Angels. He improved to 4-0 in five starts since missing time due to a right forearm strain in mid-April. The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out three and walked one.

“Just wins, you know,” said Halladay, who threw just 88 pitches. “To be able to go out and get quick outs, get us back in, that’s the most important thing to me. We got a lot of quick outs and I really didn’t give a lot of free bases today.”

Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells homered and Alex Rios and Troy Glaus had two RBIs each for Toronto, which won for the third time in its last eight road games.

Tampa Bay got a fourth-inning solo homer from Jonny Gomes. The Devil Rays have scored five runs or less in 13 consecutive games.

“He pitched a gem,” Gomes said. “Cy Young stuff. Halladay is tough any day of the week, especially when your bats aren’t so hot as a club.”

Halladay is the first AL pitcher to have two complete games this season. It’s the first time he has thrown consecutive complete games since a stretch of four in a row Sept. 1-17, 2003.

“He’s always been good, always shall be good,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s absolutely a solid stud No. 1. He just pounds the bottom of the strike zone. He’s an incredible guy.”

Rios had a two-run single during a four-run second that put Toronto ahead 4-0. Bengie Molina had an RBI single and Reed Johnson drove in a run when he was hit by a pitch with two outs before Rios’ hit. Johnson has been hit by eight pitches this season.

Rios, who had his career-best 12-game hitting streak end Friday, snapped an 0-for-8 stretch.

Overbay made it 5-0 on a fourth-inning solo homer.

Gomes cut the Tampa Bay deficit to 5-1 with his 13th homer in the fourth. The first Devil Rays’ hit off Halladay deflected off an overhanging catwalk in deep center field.

Greg Norton had leadoff singles in the fifth and eighth innings off Halladay. After both hits, Halladay then induced double-play grounders from Toby Hall.

“You give the great ones a little lead and it’s tough to overcome,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “Everytime he goes out there, you expect to win.”

Tampa Bay’s Mark Hendrickson (2-3), who gave up five runs and five hits in seven innings, was Halladay’s teammate in 2003.

“When he’s on, he takes it to the hitters regardless of the situation in a game,” Hendrickson said. “That’s one thing that I got to study and watch first hand because my rookie year was his Cy Young year.”

Hendrickson retired 12 of his final 13 batters after Overbay’s homer.

Wells extended the Blue Jays advantage to 6-1 on a solo homer off Shawn Camp in the eighth. Glaus added a two-run single off Chad Harville in the ninth to put Toronto up 8-1.


Tampa Bay didn’t leave a runner on base for the second time in team history. … The Blue Jays are expected to decide on Sunday whether to place LHP Gustavo Chacin (elbow and forearm strain) on the disabled list. Gibbons said Chacin is feeling better and might play catch before Sunday’s game. … Former AL umpire Bill Kinnamon took the field with the umpiring crew on his 87th birthday. He was the plate umpire when Roger Maris hit his 61st homer on Oct. 1, 1961. … Hendrickson made his 100th career start. He was hit on the left wrist by Shea Hillenbrand’s line single in the second. He iced the wrist after leaving the game and said it was OK.

Related Articles