Blue Jays 5, Devil Rays 1
Burnett struck out a season-high 10 to win for the first time in three starts and the Blue Jays ended a nine-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday night.
“It took a load off,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “It felt like we won the World Series.”
Alex Rios homered for Toronto, which has been riddled with injuries. Halladay was whisked to hospital before the game for an appendectomy, sidelining him for four to six weeks. Third baseman Troy Glaus suffered an apparent leg injury while running out a fly ball in the first inning.
“It was a draining game,” Burnett said. “Every inning I had him (Halladay) out there with me. I sent him a text before the game and said ‘This one’s for you, Harry.”’
Harry Leroy Halladay’s response?
“He sent me one back saying ‘I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. Concentrate on the job at hand,”’ Burnett said. “That’s a typical Doc answer. He’s doing well.”
Burnett (3-3) allowed one run and five hits with a season-high five walks in 6 2-3 innings. He picked up his first win since beating the New York Yankees on April 26.
“I was a little wild early but I was aggressive,” Burnett said. “Once I settled down and got in a rhythm, I just kept attacking. I didn’t want to let my guard down.”
Glaus, who missed 14 games earlier this season because of a sore left heel, was replaced by Jason Smith in the second inning.
“He said he felt a pop in there,” Gibbons said, adding that Glaus will not play Saturday.
Rios hit a solo homer to left in the seventh, his seventh. Vernon Wells followed with a double and scored on Smith’s single to make it 5-1.
“It was a strange feeling going into the ninth inning with the lead,” Wells said. “It’s a relief that the streak is over with.”
Elijah Dukes homered in the first for Tampa Bay. It was his sixth of the season and third in the last seven games. He also homered the Devil Rays’ 11-6 loss Thursday night at Baltimore.
Phillips’ double gave the Blue Jays their first lead since they led 1-0 in the fifth inning of last Sunday’s 3-2 loss at Texas.
“It feels good,” Phillips said. “We got to play some music in (the clubhouse). It’s not a morgue in here.”
Carlos Pena’s fielding error in the sixth allowed Hill to score Toronto’s third run.
Pena said Burnett benefited from plate umpire Larry Vanover’s wide strike zone.
“He was spotting that ball low and away pretty well,” Pena said. “He got a lot of calls out there. They were pitcher’s pitches. He did it over and over and over again.”
Scott Kazmir (2-2) lost for the first time since April 8, giving up five runs, four earned, and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings. He struck out six and walked three. Both of Kazmir’s losses this season have come against Toronto.
“He had trouble finding his release point,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “He battled through it again and gave us a chance to win.”
The Devil Rays matched a season high with four stolen bases. … Wells scored his 500th career run.