Inside Pitch: Halladay Out

Inside Pitch: Halladay Out

Roy Halladay will miss his next start because of a problem with his right forearm. Both manager John Gibbons and general manager J.P. Ricciardi were quick to point out that Halladay has pitched with the condition in both of his starts this season -- he's 1-1 -- and there was nothing to prevent him from making the start in Chicago other than the Jays being cautious. They expect him to miss just the one start.

"It's like a toothache, like a pulled muscle almost," Ricciardi said of Halladay's forearm problem.

The Jays ruled out an elbow problem, which was confirmed by an MRI Halladay had Tuesday in Boston. Following the MRI, Halladay was to return to Toronto to be examined by the Jays' team doctors.

"It's just precautionary more than anything," Ricciardi said. "He can pitch, but we'd rather have him pitch at 100 percent than 90-95 percent. It's a long year, and we've got to have him at the end more than at the beginning."

REPLAY: Boston right-hander Josh Beckett, making his Fenway Park debut, held the Blue Jays to three hits and one run in seven innings Tuesday, leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 win.

Frank Catalanotto's two-run homer in the eighth pulled the Jays within two, but Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon retired the side in order in the ninth.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Manager John Gibbons said that with RHP Roy Halladay on the shelf, the Jays rotation for the rest of their six-game road trip would have LHP Gustavo Chacin starting Wednesday followed by LHP Ted Lilly on Thursday. LHP Scott Downs opens the series in Chicago on Friday, with RHP A.J. Burnett starting Saturday and RHP Josh Towers going Sunday. Halladay probably would return the following weekend at home against Boston.

--With a single in the first inning Tuesday, CF Vernon Wells extended his hitting streak to seven games. He is the lone Jay to hit safely in all of the team's games. DH Lyle Overbay went 0-for-3 to have his hit streak stop at six games.

--RHP Josh Towers can't live long if he pitches over the middle of the plate. So when the close calls didn't go his way in the second inning Tuesday, he fell behind hitters and gave up four runs on four hits and a walk. They were the only runs Towers (0-2) would give up in his six innings.

"He's got to pitch ahead to be effective," manager John Gibbons said. "When he had to bring it over the plate, they hit him."

--In the eighth inning Tuesday, the Jays received two gift runs when Boston RF Willy Mo Pena backed up against the low fence on a drive by Frank Catalanotto with a runner on. Pena put his glove up for the routine catch but at the same time backed into the fence. The ball fell out of his glove and into the Jays bullpen for a two-run homer. It was Catalanotto's first homer of the season.

--The Jays, who entered Tuesday's game hitting .336, tops in the majors, went 5-for-30 against Boston to drop their team average to .316.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- The number of home runs surrendered by the Jays in their opening five games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You can't pitch in this game when you throw it down the middle." -- Jays reliever Vinnie Chulk who blew a three-run lead in the sixth inning Friday on seven pitches.

MEDICAL WATCH:

RHP A.J. Burnett took himself out of a game March 18 after experiencing pain in his right elbow. An MRI showed there was no structural damage to his elbow, and the pain he experienced was scar tissue tearing from his "Tommy John" surgery of 2003. Burnett missed the opening week of the season, but he should only miss two starts.

LF Reed Johnson missed the opening two weeks of spring training because of soreness in his right elbow but is back in action and experiencing no pain.

RHP Justin Speier missed 10 days because of a tendon problem in the middle finger of his right hand. Speier is back throwing and is experiencing no pain.

LHP Ted Lilly missed a start with a bad back, but he's back in the rotation.

C Gregg Zaun, who had a strained calf, returned to the roster in the season's first week.

RHP Roy Halladay will miss a start with a sore right forearm, but the team believes the condition is minor.

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