Toronto at Tampa Bay

Scoreboard
Toronto «000300002571
Tampa Bay0011000002100

Halladay solid in first outing, Jays down D-Rays 5-2

SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Roy Halladay tried to keep it simple, just like he has all spring.

Reverting to his Cy Young form of two years ago, the Toronto right-hander pitched seven-plus strong innings, and the Blue Jays got home runs from Vernon Wells, Orlando Hudson and Eric Hinske to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-2 in their opener Monday.

"My biggest focus was trying to almost make it a spring training start," Halladay said. "Sometimes it's hard not to try and turn things up a little bit and overpower guys. ... I felt for the most part I was able to stay under control."

After winning the 2003 AL Cy Young Award, Halladay was slowed by injuries last season, when he was 8-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 21 starts and spent two stints on the disabled list because of shoulder problems.

He looked healthy and sharp in this one, striking out seven and walking none to win for first time in three opening-day assignments with the Blue Jays.

"He did great," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He looked like the old Roy we saw a couple years ago."

Hudson hit a two-run homer off loser Dewon Brazelton in the fourth inning. Six pitches later, Wells followed with a solo shot off one of the catwalks supporting the roof at Tropicana Field.

The Devil Rays played without outfielder Alex Sanchez, who began serving a 10-day suspension for violating baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He was replaced by Chris Singleton, who went 1-for-4 and scored a run.

Four of Tampa Bay's first six hits off Halladay were infield singles. The right-hander, who scattered nine hits, was lifted after a leadoff single by Julio Lugo in the eighth. Scott Schoeneweis relieved, and Miguel Batista got four outs to earn the save.

The Devil Rays, who've struggled offensively all spring, finished with 10 hits -- nine of them singles. They were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

"Toronto had seven hits, but three of them were long ones. That was the game," Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. "I thought we played a good ball game. We just didn't score many runs. ... But let's not get too carried away. It's just opening day."

Brazelton allowed three runs and five hits in seven-plus innings for the Devil Rays, who had not lost on opening day since 1999. Their five-game winning streak in openers was the longest in the majors.

At 24, Brazelton is the second-youngest opening day starter in Devil Rays history. He has been a much better pitcher at home during his career, going 7-5 at Tropicana Field as opposed to 0-11 with an 8.09 ERA in 15 road starts.

The right-hander retired the first nine Blue Jays before giving up a bloop double to Frank Catalanotto leading off the fourth. Hudson homered to right on a 3-1 pitch, and Wells followed with his drive to left that struck a speaker extended below one of three catwalks that ring the outfield.

Hinske added a two-run shot in the ninth off Jesus Colome.

"I made two mistakes. I know better than to give up those runs," said Brazelton, who settled down after Hudson and Wells homered to retire 10 in a row. "My teammates played their hearts out, and I feel like I let them down."

Carl Crawford, who last week signed a $15.25 million, four-year contract, drove in Tampa Bay's first run when he grounded into a force play in the third.

Jorge Cantu added a sacrifice fly off Halladay in the fourth.

Brazelton watched Halladay work out of several potential jams, and tried to take notes.

"In certain situations he would throw a curve ball and get a strikeout," the Devil Rays pitcher said. "I would throw a fast ball, trying not to walk anybody, and they hit it hard. That's something I have to learn."

Notes

  • Halladay is the second Toronto pitcher to make three straight opening-day starts, joining Jimmy Key (1987-89).
  • C Charles Johnson signed with Tampa Bay before the game, giving the Devil Rays 16 players who were not on the team's opening day roster a year ago.
  • Brazelton is Tampa Bay's seventh opening-day starter in eight seasons.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay scatters nine hits over seven strong innings to pick up the win. (AP)
Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay scatters nine hits over seven strong innings to pick up the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

O. Hudson
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Toronto

R. Halladay
IP 7.0
H 9
ER 2
BB 0
K 7
 

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Toronto Blue Jays
Frank Catalanotto, LF3110000 .333
    Reed Johnson, LF1000001 .000
Orlando Hudson, 2B4112011 .250
Vernon Wells, CF4111000 .250
Corey Koskie, 3B4000010 .000
Shea Hillenbrand, DH4120000 .500
Eric Hinske, 1B4112011 .250
Gregg Zaun, C4000011 .000
Gabe Gross, RF3000010 .000
Russ Adams, SS3010000 .333
Totals34575054 
Batting
2B - Frank Catalanotto (1, Brazelton), Russ Adams (1, Brazelton)
HR - Orlando Hudson (1, Brazelton), Vernon Wells (1, Brazelton), Eric Hinske (1, Colome)
RBI - Orlando Hudson 2 (2), Vernon Wells (1), Eric Hinske 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Hinske 2 (2)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - R. Adams-Hudson-Hinske
E - Orlando Hudson (1, Wild throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay (W,1-0) 7922070 2.57
Scott Schoeneweis (H,1) 0.2000010 0.00
Miguel Batista (S,1) 1.1100000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 91-64, Scott Schoeneweis 9-5, Miguel Batista 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 8-5, Scott Schoeneweis 1-0, Miguel Batista 3-1
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 29, Scott Schoeneweis 2, Miguel Batista 5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF4001021 .000
Julio Lugo, SS4020000 .500
Aubrey Huff, RF4000013 .000
Travis Lee, 1B4120021 .500
Josh Phelps, DH4020011 .500
Jorge Cantu, 2B3011001 .333
Chris Singleton, CF4110002 .250
Toby Hall, C4020002 .500
Alex Gonzalez, 3B4000024 .000
Totals3521020815 
Batting
2B - Josh Phelps (1, Halladay)
SF - Jorge Cantu (1)
RBI - Carl Crawford (1), Jorge Cantu (1)
SB - Julio Lugo (1, 2nd base off Halladay/Zaun)
Team LOB - 7
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Dewon Brazelton (L,0-1) 7.1533042 3.68
Jesus Colome 1.2222011 10.80
Pitches-Strikes - Dewon Brazelton 81-55, Jesus Colome 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dewon Brazelton 8-10, Jesus Colome 1-3
Batters Faced - Dewon Brazelton 27, Jesus Colome 7
Game Information
Attendance - 26018
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Bob Davidson