Blue Jays 11, Dodgers 5

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LOS ANGELES (AP)—Roy Halladay settled down after a rocky start to pitch an excellent game.

No surprise there.

His performance at the plate was utterly shocking, especially considering he didn’t take batting practice.

Halladay limited the Los Angeles Dodgers to five hits and three runs in seven innings, and got two hits and drove in the first run of his career Sunday to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to an 11-5 victory over the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers.

Halladay walked three and struck out two in his third start since undergoing an appendectomy that sidelined him for three weeks.

The Dodgers scored two runs on three hits in the first inning, but managed only one run and two hits against the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner after that. Los Angeles has lost five of its last six games.

“Just slowing myself down,” Halladay replied, when asked what he changed after the first inning. “A lot of times, you get caught up in what you’re doing wrong rather than what kind of pitch you’re going to make.”

Halladay, who had one hit in 29 previous at-bats, lined a run-scoring single to center off Jason Schmidt (1-3) in the second to snap a 2-2 tie and put the Blue Jays ahead for good. He slapped another single to center in the fourth before striking out in his final two at-bats.

“I think I’m just lucky—I just ran into them,” Halladay said of his hits. “It’s always fun to get a chance. It’s never comfortable, but it’s always fun.”

Halladay said all he did to prepare offensively was to bunt in the batting cage.

“Stay through the middle—good lesson,” said Frank Thomas, the Blue Jays’ designated hitter who didn’t play Sunday because the DH isn’t used during interleague games at NL parks.

“He’s now hit one more slider up the middle than I have,” joked Troy Glaus, who doubled and scored in the third and hit solo homers leading off the fifth and sixth innings to give him 10 this season.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the first, scoring the first run on back-to-back doubles by Alex Rios and Matt Stairs and the second while Aaron Lind was grounding into a double play.

The Dodgers tied it in their half on a two-out RBI double by Luis Gonzalez and a run-scoring single by James Loney in his first at-bat of the season. The Dodgers loaded the bases before Juan Pierre grounded to the box—the first of 11 straight batters retired by Halladay.

Vernon Wells singled and Glaus doubled to start the third, with Wells scoring on center fielder Pierre’s throwing error. John McDonald added a two-out, RBI single later in the inning.

Glaus’ first homer made it 6-2 and chased Schmidt. The Blue Jays scored three more runs later in the inning off Mark Hendrickson on run-scoring singles by McDonald, Sal Fasano and Rios. Glaus hit his second homer off Hendrickson, giving him 24 multihomer games in his career and making it 10-2.

Schmidt gave up nine hits and six earned runs in four-plus innings in his second start since being sidelined 7 1/2 weeks because of bursitis in his right shoulder. He allowed one hit in six scoreless innings last Tuesday night in San Diego.

“He just didn’t seem like he had the same velocity as he did his last start, and he needs his velocity to pitch,” Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. “He didn’t have that same command, either, so when you mix those two things together, you get what everybody saw today.”

Schmidt acknowledged his frustration, but called the outing “just a small bump in the road.”

“It didn’t feel good coming out from the get-go,” he said. “Once that happens, it becomes mechanical and a lot of different things after that. I was out there trying to get myself back in synch and not give up any more runs.”

Notes

The Dodgers recalled Loney from Triple-A Las Vegas, making room by designating OF Brady Clark for assignment. Loney played first base to give Nomar Garciaparra a day off, and went 1-for-4. Garciaparra struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. … Martin stole his 10th base in 12 attempts in the first. He stole 10 bases as a rookie last season. … Halladay’s RBI was the first by a Toronto pitcher since June 21, 2003, when Hendrickson, playing for the Blue Jays, hit a home run in Montreal. … Longtime Dodgers fan Virginia Brickell, celebrating her 100th birthday, received an ovation when shown on Diamond Vision in the middle of the third inning. … The Blue Jays won the series 2-1. They will face the Dodgers again June 19-21 in Toronto.

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