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Halladay continues dominance, wins fifth straight decision

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Roy Halladay is healthy and dominating like he was in 2003 when he won the AL Cy Young Award.

Halladay won his fifth straight decision, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Halladay (6-1) hasn't lost since skipping a start in mid-April because of a strained right forearm.

"He's arguably the best pitcher in the game," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "You can't rattle him."

Toronto's ace allowed one run and seven hits, matching a season-high with seven strikeouts and walking none in coming within one out of his 23rd career complete game.

Fans booed when Gibbons replaced him with B.J. Ryan.

Halladay wanted to get the last out, but knew he was going hitter to hitter with Ryan warming up in the bullpen.

Halladay got 13 groundball outs.

"The first two pitches I'm looking for an out, ground ball or a fly ball out," Halladay said. "I'm trying to get quick outs. I've never been a big believer from the very first pitch trying to strike a guy out. Normally, you end up behind in that situation."

Ryan came on with a runner on first and two outs and earned his 11th save in as many chances.

Toronto has won Halladay's last seven starts, including a victory on May 13 against the Devil Rays in which he allowed three hits and one run in a complete game.

"It's almost boring playing behind him," Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells said. "He makes it easy."

The Blue Jays fell out of contention last year after Halladay suffered a season-ending leg injury in July.

"We really missed him last year after we lost him," Gibbons said. "He's a cornerstone guy. You need those guys, especially when they are on the mound."

Gibbons is giving Halladay an extra day's rest before his next start. He will pitch Monday against AL East rival Boston.

Shea Hillenbrand homered for the Blue Jays, who have won two straight after losing three in a row.

The Devil Rays fell to 0-2 on their season-long 10-game road trip.

"He did what he does," Tampa Bay's Damon Hollins said of Halladay. "We got some balls to fall in and some guys in scoring position but he bears down and gets tougher. With a guy like that you have to scrape something together."

Greg Norton's RBI grounder gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the second, but Hillenbrand led off the bottom of the inning with a homer off Mark Hendrickson (3-4).

Vernon Wells singled in the third and scored on Troy Glaus' RBI double to left.

"Typical Doc. You give him a lead he's going to shut you down," Gibbons said.

Halladay retired nine straight after getting the lead.

Toronto's John McDonald and Reed Johnson hit consecutive singles in the seventh before Alex Rios extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an RBI single off Shawn Camp.

Wells followed with a sacrifice fly to give Toronto a 4-1 lead.

Hendrickson allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings against his former team.

Notes

  • Fans cheered when it was shown on the videoboard that the Toronto Raptors won the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.
  • Toronto has won four straight at home overall and four in a row over the Devil Rays.
  • Tampa Bay handed Halladay his only loss this season, a 5-2 defeat on April 9.
  • The Devil Rays fell to 8-15 away from Tropicana Field.
  • Hendrickson began his career with the Blue Jays, going 12-9 from 2002-03 before being traded to Tampa Bay.
 
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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Toronto gets its fourth straight win at home behind Roy Halladay's seven strike outs.  (AP)
Toronto gets its fourth straight win at home behind Roy Halladay's seven strike outs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

S. Hillenbrand
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Tampa Bay

T. Wigginton
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Julio Lugo, SS4010001 .261
Carl Crawford, LF4010011 .266
Jonny Gomes, RF4010022 .280
Aubrey Huff, 3B4000022 .160
Ty Wigginton, 2B3120000 .258
Toby Hall, C3010001 .278
Greg Norton, DH3001010 .275
Travis Lee, 1B3000020 .195
Damon Hollins, CF3010000 .246
Totals31171087 
Batting
2B - Ty Wigginton (7, Halladay)
RBI - Greg Norton (5)
SB - Julio Lugo (7, 3rd base off Halladay/Zaun)
CS - Greg Norton (1, 2nd base by Halladay/Zaun)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Huff-Wigginton-Lee, Huff-Wigginton-Lee, Lugo-Wigginton-Lee
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Mark Hendrickson (L,3-4) 6822331 3.50
Travis Harper0222000 5.94
Shawn Camp 1100000 2.95
Chad Harville 1000010 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Hendrickson 106-64, Travis Harper 7-3, Shawn Camp 9-5, Chad Harville 12-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Hendrickson 11-1, Chad Harville 2-0
Batters Faced - Mark Hendrickson 26, Travis Harper 2, Shawn Camp 3, Chad Harville 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4130000 .359
Alex Rios, RF3011102 .353
Vernon Wells, CF3111001 .331
Troy Glaus, 3B3011111 .260
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4111022 .331
Bengie Molina, DH4020010 .271
Gregg Zaun, C3010101 .348
Aaron Hill, 2B3000002 .224
John McDonald, SS3110001 .241
Totals3041143410 
Batting
2B - Troy Glaus (11, Hendrickson), Gregg Zaun (7, Hendrickson)
HR - Shea Hillenbrand (5, Hendrickson)
SF - Vernon Wells (4)
RBI - Alex Rios (33), Vernon Wells (35), Troy Glaus (38), Shea Hillenbrand (20)
2-OUT RBI - Troy Glaus (9)
CS - Alex Rios (4, 2nd base by Camp/Hall)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - McDonald-Hill-Hillenbrand, McDonald-Hill-Hillenbrand
E - Vernon Wells (3, Wild throw)
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay (W,6-1) 8.2711070 2.77
B.J. Ryan (S,11) 0.1000010 0.42
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 110-73, B.J. Ryan 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 13-3
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 30, B.J. Ryan 1
Game Information
Attendance - 34594
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Charlie Reliford