CLEVELAND, OH – The skies stayed bright and clear for Toronto and ace Roy Halladay as the former Cy Young winner pitched seven and two-thirds of one run ball, getting some help from Alex Rios and Vernon Wells who both homered to take the final game of their three-game set versus Cleveland 5-2.
With their bullpen tiring after having to support a dismal start by Ted Lilly and a shortened Gustavo Chacin outing due to rain, the Blue Jays bullpen were grateful it was Halladay taking the mound today against the Indians. They’ve thrown a total of twelve innings during the first two games here in Cleveland and could very well use today and tomorrow’s off day to rest up before traveling to Minnesota to take on the Twins Tuesday.
The Blue Jay hitters would give Halladay some run support in the second inning, when Frank Menechino walked to open the inning, followed by what seemed like a tailor made double play hit to Aaron Boone who botched the throw, putting men on first and second. Two batters later, shortstop John McDonald would single center bringing home Menechino for a 1-0 lead.
The Jays would go up 2-0 when Alex Rios, who before Friday night’s home run off Jason Davis had gone without a long ball in 330 at-bats, smoked a letter high fastball from C.C. Sabathia to deep left-center to lead off the third.
Halladay meanwhile would blank the tribe until the sixth when Casey Blake led off with a single, followed by a walk to Travis Hafner. Both men would move up courtesy of a groundball out by Ben Broussard. Blake would cross the plate on a wild pitch from Halladay, but Cleveland left Hafner stranded at third.
Sabathia, after shutting down the Jays for four innings, ran into some trouble in the eighth, hitting Menechino with a man on first, and then falling behind 3-0 to Vernon Wells. Still fuming by hitting Menechino, Sabathia grooved one to Wells who promptly took him out of the yard for a three-run shot and a 5-1 Jays lead. Sabathia, who takes the loss, worked 7 and 2/3 innings giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, striking out five and walking two.
Halladay left the game in the eighth, pitching 7 and 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on 5 hits, all singles, before giving way to Miguel Batista who recorded the final four outs of the game. The Indians would push one run across in the ninth off Batista but that’s all they would get as the Blue Jays win 5-2.
The Jays will now head to Minnesota for a three-game series starting on Tuesday. Josh Towers (4-1) will be in for a battle as he’s locked up against 2004 Cy Young winner Johan Santana (5-1) of the Twins.
The game on Tuesday can be seen on TSN starting at 8pm EST as well as on The FAN 590AM.
InsideTheDome’s Game Notes: Halladay with the win today, improves to 4-0 career against Cleveland…Corey Koskie, still bothered by a sore rib cage muscle, sat out today’s game hoping he’ll be recovered in time for Tuesday’s game against the Twins…Today marked the 24th anniversary of Indians pitcher Len Barker’s perfect game, which occurred against the Blue Jays…Coco Crisp extended his hitting streak to ten games with a single in the second.