Blue Jays 9, Orioles 2
Fantasy baseball: Four hot pitchers
“He had me worried there for a while that we might not get one,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said, “but he kind of tired a bit.”
Although rookie Brandon Fahey ended the no-hit bid with a one-out single in the sixth inning, Halladay earned his major league-leading 16th win, leading the Blue Jays to a 9-2 victory Sunday.
Halladay (16-3) allowed two runs, four hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out two. The right-hander never really considered the possibility of throwing a no-hitter, even after breezing through the first five innings.
“No, not really,” he said. “To have a real shot at it, I think, is seven innings or later.”
So, after Fahey grounded a pitch up the middle to become Baltimore’s first baserunner, Halladay didn’t kick the dirt or shrug his shoulders in disgust.
“Honestly, I don’t think it was late enough in the game that it was really a disappointment,” he said. “When you go out there, it’s not something you shoot for, it’s not something you’re trying to do. It’s always nice to have, but you’re trying to get outs, that’s the main focus.
“So I wasn’t super disappointed, no.”
Halladay was replaced after throwing 98 pitches and with Toronto comfortably in command. The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner is 14-4 lifetime against Baltimore and 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA this year.
“He was great. As usual,” losing pitcher Erik Bedard said. “That’s why he won a Cy Young Award and that’s probably why he’s going to win it this year, too.”
Miguel Tejada hit his 22nd homer for the Orioles, whose season-high four-game winning streak ended. Baltimore scored 34 runs in its previous three games before being held to five hits by Halladay and relievers Jeremy Accardo and B.J. Ryan.
“(Halladay) was great. He’s been great for us all year long. That’s the way he’s capable of pitching,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “The bottom line is he shut down a hot team. They’ve been swinging the bats.”
Bedard (12-9) gave up seven runs, five earned, and seven hits in five innings. The left-hander is 0-3 in five starts since winning seven straight from June 16-July 23.
Toronto went up 2-0 in the first inning when Vernon Wells drew a two-out walk and Glaus followed with his 33rd homer. The Blue Jays added two unearned runs in the second, courtesy of a throwing error by Bedard on a sacrifice bunt by John McDonald.
A leadoff double by Lyle Overbay and a successful squeeze by McDonald made it 5-0 in the fourth. Bedard got two outs in the fifth before Glaus singled and Molina hit the next pitch over the center-field wall.
The Orioles, who hit only three balls out of the infield in the first five innings, finally broke through in the sixth. After Fahey’s one-out single, Chris Widger walked and Brian Roberts singled to load the bases before rookie Nick Markakis drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
Markakis, who finished 0-for-3, couldn’t remember Halladay ever being better.
“I’ve faced him two or three times this year, and today was by far the best I’ve seen him,” Markakis said. “He didn’t throw many offspeed pitches. He just kept throwing fastballs, but he put them where he wanted and he had a movement on them.”
Tejada connected in the seventh, only the fourth homer allowed by Halladay in his last 10 starts.
Johnson hit his career-high 11th home run off Russ Ortiz to make it 9-2 in the eighth. Before the homer, Johnson struck out three times and hit into a double play.
Molina has 11 RBIs in his last 12 starts. Against Bedard, he’s 9-for-19 (.474) with five RBIs lifetime. … Toronto won the season series 11-8. … Overbay had three hits and is 19-for-47 (.404) over his last 13 games. … Bedard is 0-3 with a 5.76 ERA in five starts against Toronto this season.