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Cards learn it's no Halladay to face Jays' complete pitcher

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Roy Halladay feels he is pitching as well as he did in 2003, when he won the American League Cy Young Award. The statistics show he is better.

Halladay pitched a five-hitter for his major league-leading fifth complete game, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Monday night.

Halladay (10-3) has won six of his past seven starts and is tied with Chicago's Jon Garland for the most wins in the AL.

Asked if this season is better than his Cy Young year, Halladay said: "It's tough to say, but as far as goals and preparation it's the same."

It's a little clearer when comparing the numbers.

Halladay needed 16 starts to win his 10th game in 2003 and he had a 3.82 ERA at that point.

This season, he reached 10 wins in 14 starts and has an ERA of 2.33, significantly better.

"He's having some kind of year," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's in an elite class and that's what those kind of pitchers do."

The 28-year-old right-hander struck out five and walked none for his 20th career complete game.

Halladay leads the AL with 108 innings. He won just eight games last season because of a troublesome right shoulder.

Shea Hillenbrand homered for the Blue Jays, who reached .500 again (32-32) by ending a four-game losing streak. Toronto played its first home game following a 4-9 road trip.

The Cardinals raved about Halladay after facing him for the first time.

St. Louis outfielder Larry Walker called him "pretty much nasty."

"He didn't win a Cy Young by fluke," said Walker, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

David Eckstein added: "I don't think film does Halladay justice. You don't understand how hard he's throwing the ball with that much movement."

John Mabry homered for the Cardinals, who have lost just four of their past 22 interleague games. Center fielder Jim Edmonds was a late scratch because of bruised ribs. He said he didn't think he'd play Tuesday.

Alex Rios led off Toronto's first with a double, advanced to third on a grounder and scored on Vernon Wells' sacrifice fly. Hillenbrand followed with a homer off Jeff Suppan (5-6).

Suppan plunked Hillebrand in his next at-bat, prompting plate umpire Bob Davidson to warn Suppan and both dugouts. No further incidents occured.

Rookie Aaron Hill doubled in the second and scored on rookie Russ Adams' RBI single.

Suppan allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings.

"Three runs in seven innings, that's a quality job when you are facing a guy like Halladay," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He hung with it and gave us a chance."

Mabry homered off Halladay in the fourth, cutting Toronto's lead to 3-1.

Toronto's Reed Johnson added an RBI single in the eighth off Cal Eldred.

Notes

  • Toronto 2B Orlando Hudson ended a 0-for-17 slump with a single in the fourth.
  • Halladay has pitched six or more innings in 14 consecutive starts.
  • Halladay allowed two earned runs and seven hits in seven innings of Wednesday's 2-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs, snapping a five-start winning streak.
  • St. Louis RHP Chris Carpenter returned to Toronto for the first time since the Blue Jays removed him from the 40-man roster in 2002. Carpenter, 8-4 with a 3.49 ERA, is scheduled to start Tuesday night's game.
  • The Cardinals played the first of a nine-game, 10-day road trip.
 
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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Larry Walker throws in the towel -- and the bat -- after striking out against Roy Halladay.  (AP)
Larry Walker throws in the towel -- and the bat -- after striking out against Roy Halladay. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

R. Halladay
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 0
K 5
St. Louis

J. Mabry
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4020000 .307
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4000022 .314
Albert Pujols, 1B4000001 .322
Larry Walker, RF4000021 .243
John Mabry, LF4121000 .265
Scott Seabol, DH3010011 .256
Abraham Nunez, 3B3000001 .262
Yadier Molina, C3000001 .251
Skip Schumaker, CF3000000 .000
Totals32151057 
Batting
HR - John Mabry (4, Halladay)
RBI - John Mabry (16)
2-OUT RBI - John Mabry (5)
SB - David Eckstein (6, 2nd base off Halladay/Zaun)
Team LOB - 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Suppan (L,5-6) 7833351 4.24
Cal Eldred 1211100 3.00
HBP - Hillenbrand (by Jeff Suppan)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 111-70, Cal Eldred 23-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 8-8, Cal Eldred 3-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 33, Cal Eldred 6
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF5110022 .280
Frank Catalanotto, LF4010001 .304
    Reed Johnson, LF1011000 .291
Vernon Wells, CF4021002 .254
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B2111102 .310
Eric Hinske, 1B2000211 .259
Aaron Hill, DH4110007 .333
Gregg Zaun, C4010021 .248
Orlando Hudson, 2B3110101 .243
Russ Adams, SS3011000 .231
Totals3241044517 
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (12, Suppan), Frank Catalanotto (8, Suppan), Vernon Wells (10, Suppan), Aaron Hill (5, Suppan)
HR - Shea Hillenbrand (7, Suppan)
SF - Vernon Wells (4)
SH - Russ Adams (2)
RBI - Reed Johnson (25), Vernon Wells (33), Shea Hillenbrand (28), Russ Adams (21)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson (9), Shea Hillenbrand (5), Russ Adams (7)
SB - Russ Adams (4, 2nd base off Suppan/Molina)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Russ Adams (9, wild throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay (W,10-3) 9511051 2.33
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 83-58
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 13-9
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 32
Game Information
Attendance - 20032
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Andy Fletcher