TORONTO -- Roy Halladay doesn't normally waste leads.
Halladay (14-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking none as he improved to 13-4 against Baltimore. He frittered away a 3-0 lead against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 4, his only loss since June 18, and was staked to a four-run margin against the Orioles.
"It's just nice to be able to get the lead like that and be able to hold it," Halladay said.
Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers (both 14-4) also are tied for the lead in victories.
Because of injuries, Halladay hasn't pitched this late in the season in three years.
"This is a team we should beat," Halladay said. "It was nice to see we had a good effort."
Halladay says Toronto's four-game series at Minnesota this week is first of many that are must win. The Blue Jays began the day in the third place in the AL East -- nine games behind first-place New York. They trail four teams in the wild-card race.
"It's a huge series," Halladay said. "It's getting to that point of the season for us."
B.J. Ryan got five straight outs for his 26h save in 30 chances. With a runner on second and one out in the eighth, Ryan struck out Miguel Tejada and retired pinch-hitter Kevin Millar on a lineout to left.
"I've been out there a lot lately so I feel fresh," said Ryan, who is 2-for-5 in save chances since the All-Star break.
Tejada appeared to make an obscene gesture toward the stands after swinging through a pitch in the dirt from Ryan and being out at first.
Bengie Molina had two RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won just three of 11. Baltimore has lost five of seven.
Erik Bedard (12-8) lost his second straight start after winning his previous seven decisions. Bedard gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings.
"It's hard. You make good pitches, and they hit them and it falls where nobody is," Bedard said. "You can't do anything about it."
Bedard is happy with his season.
"It feels good to have a season with more consistency and no injuries," he said.
Aaron Hill hit an RBI grounder in the second, and Toronto made it 4-0 in the third. Alex Rios hit an RBI single, and Molina followed with a hard grounder to first baseman Fernando Tatis, who knocked the ball down and fumbled it before throwing home late. Troy Glaus and Rios scored on what was ruled a rare infield single for slow-footed Molina.
Melvin Mora hit an RBI double in the fourth and scored on a single by Tatis, and Brandon Fahey's had a run-scoring grounder in the fifth.
- Toronto LHP Ted Lilly is to start Thursday in Minnesota. Lilly missed Monday's start because of a stiff neck.
- Bedard was scheduled to start Monday, but his start was moved back to give him extra rest.