Halladay threw a six-hit complete game to reverse his fortune in Texas, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Rangers 4-1 on Saturday night.
Toronto’s ace came into the game with a 7.00 ERA in nine career starts against the Rangers in the Lone Star State. Halladay (2-1) also saw his 2005 season end early in Arlington when he took a line drive that fractured his left tibia.
“I don’t worry about all that stuff,” Halladay said. “You can’t do anything but learn from the past. I’ve never put emphasis on things like that. All I can do is concentrate on executing the game plan.”
Aaron Hill drove in the three runs with an RBI double in the first and a two-run single in the fourth. Matt Stairs and Joe Inglett added three hits for the Blue Jays, who won for just the fifth time in their last 21 games at Texas.
Halladay (2-1) struck out six, walked one and threw 109 pitches.
“He had it all going,” Toronto catcher Gregg Zaun said. “It was his night. He had a game plan and executed it very well. He made my job easy.”
Luis Mendoza (0-1) made his first start of the season for the Rangers after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day. He had been sidelined with a blister on his right middle finger.
Mendoza allowed four runs—only one earned—and eight hits in five innings before Josh Rupe relieved him. Mendoza walked three and hit two batters.
“It was a rough night,” Mendoza said. “I struggled with my control, especially my curve ball. I had a hard time throwing first-pitch strikes.”
The Blue Jays touched up Mendoza early on Hill’s RBI double in the first.
Toronto extended its lead thanks to Hill’s clutch hitting and Hank Blalock’s fielding error.
With Stairs on first and two outs in the fourth, Blalock misplayed Zaun’s soft liner that allowed him to reach base. Inglett followed with an RBI single that made it 2-0.
After a walk to load the bases, Hill singled off the glove of shortstop Michael Young to bring home two runs.
All three of the runs Toronto scored in the fourth were unearned. The Rangers made three errors in an 8-5 loss to Toronto on Friday.
Texas manager Ron Washington was straight to the point when talking about his team’s fielding.
“It was bad,” Washington said. “Those guys really opened the game up. They’re a good hitting team. You can’t be giving them extra opportunities.”
Murphy doubled leading off the second and advanced to third on a grounder. But Halladay worked out of trouble when he struck out Gerald Laird and got a groundout from Broussard.
Halladay retired 13 in a row starting in the third before Byrd singled in the seventh.
“It ended up being a close game,” Halladay said. “If I give up a couple of runs early, it might have been a different game.”
The Rangers placed LHP Eddie Guardado on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder. Guardado has made two scoreless appearances with the Rangers this season. … Inglett started at third base and batted ninth after he was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday. … Hamilton started in right field instead of his normal center field, and OF Milton Bradley was given the day off. … Toronto RF Alex Rios, who was 1-for-4, reached base for the 22nd straight game dating back to last season. That is the longest active streak in the American League.