Toronto at Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay
W: R. Halladay (1-0) L: S. Kazmir (0-1)
S: C. Janssen (1)
HR: TOR - V. Wells (1), R. Johnson (1)   TB - R. Baldelli (1)

Jays handle Rays for Halladay's first victory since August

CBS wire reports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Roy Halladay has put last season's rough finish behind him.

Halladay won for the first time since last August and Reed Johnson hit a three-run homer to lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-3 on Sunday.

"I haven't really thought about it, but it was a tough end of the season last year," Halladay said. "It's nice to have it over with."

Halladay (1-0) had gone winless in seven starts - including his final six last year - since beating Baltimore on Aug. 20. He gave up three runs, seven hits and three walks over seven innings. He struck out seven.

"Doc battled," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "It wasn't an easy day for him."

Vernon Wells also homered for the Blue Jays. Casey Janssen pitched two innings for his first professional save.

Janssen, moved from a starting role to the bullpen this season, has allowed one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings spanning three appearances.

"He's gaining confidence," Gibbons said. "The bottom line, he's got everything he needs. His stuff's there. It was a big day because we needed him."

Janssen got the save opportunity because closer B.J. Ryan pitched the previous two days.

Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir (0-1) allowed four runs, six hits, two walks and struck out 10 in seven innings. Rocco Baldelli had a solo homer.

Kazmir's first eight outs came on strikeouts, including one stretch when he struck out six consecutive batters to set a team record. The left-hander, who ended the 2006 season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, is winless in seven starts dating to a 2-0 shutout of Boston last July 3.

"I really got into a groove early," Kazmir said. "There's just a couple of pitches I'd like to have back. There's some things I can take out of today, positive things. Being aggressive and attacking the hitters."

Wells put the Blue Jays up 1-0 with a homer in the first. Tampa Bay tied it in the second when Delmon Young scored from third after Elijah Dukes was caught leaning the wrong way at first by Halladay and was later tagged out in a rundown while attempting to steal second.

Baldelli gave the Devil Rays a 2-1 lead when he homered on a 1-2 pitch leading off the fourth.

Toronto third baseman John McDonald, filling in for the injured Troy Glaus, saved at least one run when he made a diving catch of Duke's grounder with runners on the corners later in the fourth to start an inning-ending double play.

"You don't want to impact the game in a negative way," McDonald said. "You want to contribute and do your thing and hopefully the team doesn't miss a beat without Troy in there."

McDonald had a two-out single in the fifth and scored when Johnson followed with a three-run homer to make it 4-2.

"The two-out inning really hurt us," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Other than that, we'd be celebrating right now."

Young's sixth-inning RBI single cut Tampa Bay's deficit to 4-3. The Blue Jays avoided further damage when second baseman Aaron Hill caught Dioner Navarro's two-out liner with the bases loaded.

"I think they beat us with their gloves as much as anything," Maddon said. "Not taking anything away from Halladay, but I liked our at-bats against him a lot. I thought we extended him really well. I have no complaints. I thought we played really well."

Hill and Gregg Zaun had run-scoring singles in the eighth to extend Toronto's advantage to 6-3.


Kazmir threw 80 of 111 pitches for strikes. He has nine of Tampa Bay's 17 10-strikeout games. ... Halladay is 7-2 at Tropicana Field. He threw 113 pitches, including 70 strikes. ... Glaus, who left Saturday's game with a sore left heel, might play Monday in the Blue Jays' home opener against Kansas City. ... Young has three hits, including two doubles, in six at-bats against Halladay. ... Wells is 7-for-22 with two homers off Kazmir.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

R. Johnson
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
Tampa Bay

R. Baldelli
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF5113012 .292
Lyle Overbay, 1B5010012 .273
Vernon Wells, CF4221001 .300
Frank Thomas, DH3000132 .316
Alex Rios, RF4110012 .261
Aaron Hill, 2B4011011 .250
Gregg Zaun, C3011110 .200
Royce Clayton, SS4110021 .333
John McDonald, 3B4120020 .400
2B - Lyle Overbay (3, Kazmir), Royce Clayton (2, Kazmir)
HR - Reed Johnson (1, Kazmir), Vernon Wells (1, Kazmir)
RBI - Reed Johnson 3 (6), Vernon Wells (5), Aaron Hill (4), Gregg Zaun (3)
2-OUT RBI - Reed Johnson 3 (4), Vernon Wells (1)
Team LOB - 5
DP - McDonald-Hill-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay (W,1-0) 7733371 3.46
Casey Janssen (S,1) 2000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 113-70, Casey Janssen 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 7-5, Casey Janssen 2-3
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 29, Casey Janssen 6
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Carl Crawford, LF4000020 .286
Ben Zobrist, SS4000010 .059
Rocco Baldelli, DH4231000 .235
Ty Wigginton, 2B4010011 .250
Delmon Young, RF3121100 .350
Akinori Iwamura, 3B4010002 .529
Elijah Dukes, CF2000211 .286
Dioner Navarro, C4000013 .071
Carlos Pena, 1B3000020 .000
2B - Delmon Young (1, Halladay)
HR - Rocco Baldelli (1, Halladay)
RBI - Rocco Baldelli (2), Delmon Young (5)
SB - Rocco Baldelli (2, 2nd base off Halladay/Zaun)
CS - Elijah Dukes (1, 2nd base by Halladay/Zaun)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Zobrist-Wigginton-Pena
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir (L,0-1) 76442102 6.75
Brian Stokes 1422010 6.75
Jae-Kuk Ryu 1000010 0.00
WP - Scott Kazmir (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 111-80, Brian Stokes 15-11, Jae-Kuk Ryu 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 3-8, Brian Stokes 1-0, Jae-Kuk Ryu 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 29, Brian Stokes 6, Jae-Kuk Ryu 3
Game Information
Attendance - 12436
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Dana DeMuth