for this game

Blue Jays strike early as Halladay stymies Orioles

Sep 15, 2007 - 9:08 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- All Roy Halladay needed was a little early support against the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

Halladay hurled seven strong innings and Frank Thomas hit a two-run homer as the Toronto Blue Jays used a six-run first inning en route to an 8-3 victory over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Rios and Gregg Zaun each drove in two runs for the Blue Jays (74-74), who won for just the second time in eight games to get back to the .500 mark on the season.

The 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner, Halladay (15-7) now has at least 15 wins for the fourth time in his career. But the righthander has not pitched well of late, winning for the first time in six starts.

"You can't really get too frustrated, that's just how the game is," said Halladay, who improved to 15-4 lifetime against the Orioles. "You've just got to go out and keep pitching and, sooner or later, you'll have a game like this where you get six in the first."

He allowed one run and five hits while striking out two and walking two on Saturday.

"That was a typical Roy Halladay performance," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's such a good pitcher, we get spoiled with him here."

"If we spot (Halladay) that many runs, it's going to be tough," said Orioles bench coach Tom Trebelhorn, who is the acting manager while Dave Trembley serves a three-game suspension. "There's not much else to say about it."

Jason Frasor yielded consecutive hits to start the eighth and was relieved by Scott Downs, who got two outs after allowing his two inherited runners to score. Casey Janssen retired Miguel Tejada to end the threat.

He then pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

Halladay got all the support he needed in the opening frame as Toronto knocked out Baltimore starter Kurt Birkins (1-2) before he could record an out. Birkins allowed six runs and six hits without a walk or strikeout before departing.

"When the buzzsaw starts buzzing, it's tough to stop," Trebelhorn said. "I'm sure (Birkins) understood why he came out."

"I just couldn't hit a spot and, with a lineup like this, they're not going to let those pitches go," said Birkins, who became the first Orioles starter to fail to get an out since Russ Ortiz on July 21, 2006. "I just struggled throughout the whole time."

The Blue Jays wasted no time, smacking a franchise-best seven straight hits to start the game - one shy of the major league record. Toronto's previous high was five in a row against the Texas Rangers on May 8, 1987.

Vernon Wells and Reed Johnson started the onslaught with back-to-back singles, and Rios knocked them in with a two-run double. Thomas followed with his 22nd homer of the campaign to give the Blue Jays a four-run advantage.

After Aaron Hill and Matt Stairs stroked back-to-back hits, Birkins was lifted by Trebelhorn. Zaun capped the scoring in the frame with a two-run single off Rob Bell, making it 6-0.

"That was a nice way to start the game, that's for sure," Stairs said. "I've never seen (seven consecutive hits to start a game) before. It's very rare, but with our offense, nothing surprises me."

The Blue Jays added two more runs in the seventh. Hill stroked a one-out double and, after Stairs popped out, Zaun was walked intentionally to put runners on first and second.

Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis then misplayed Hector Luna's fly ball, allowing both runners to score and make it 8-0.

Markakis, Aubrey Huff and Freddie Bynum each knocked in a run for Baltimore, which has lost seven of its last 10.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 3 8 2
    TORONTO 6 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 x 8 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BAL - KURT BIRKINS, ROB BELL (1ST), VICTOR ZAMBRANO (3RD), RADHAMES
    LIZ (7TH) AND J.R. HOUSE
    TOR - ROY HALLADAY, JASON FRASOR (8TH), SCOTT DOWNS
    (8TH), CASEY JANSS

    Sep 15 3:58 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY NICK MARKAKIS SCORED FREDDIE BYNUM.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B ROBERTS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 3
    TORONTO 8 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: M TEJADA (.303, 0-FOR-3)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 3:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FREDDIE BYNUM SCORED J.R. HOUSE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F BYNUM ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 2
    TORONTO 8 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: B ROBERTS (.292, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 3:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY NICK MARKAKIS ALLOWED AARON HILL AND GREGG ZAUN TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, H LUNA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    TORONTO 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J MCDONALD (.241, 0-FOR-3)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 3:18 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY AUBREY HUFF SCORED NICK MARKAKIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HUFF ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1
    TORONTO 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: K MILLAR (.257, 0-FOR-1)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 2:16 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREGG ZAUN SCORED AARON HILL AND MATT STAIRS.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    TORONTO 6 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: H LUNA (.235, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 1:33 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY FRANK THOMAS (22) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF KURT BIRKINS SCORED ALEX RIOS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0, TORONTO 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.274, 16 HR, 72 RBI)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 1:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALEX RIOS SCORED VERNON WELLS AND REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A RIOS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.267, 21 HR, 84 RBI)

    Orioles vs. Blue JaysSep 15 1:23 PM