The Red Sox, even with "Rescue Me" star Daniel Sunjata in the house, were not able to extinguish the red-hot flames emanating from the right arm of Roy Halladay. With trade rumors continuing to circulate, Doc may have filled out his final prescription in a Jays overcoat by going the distance in a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon at the Rog Mahal.
The Red Sox got to Halladay early but not often. A sac fly by David Ortiz scored Dustin Pedroia in the top of the first to give the Beantowners a 1-0 lead. Pedroia got aboard on an infield single to second after Doc deflected the ball before going to third on a double by Kevin Youkilis. "Youk" also went to third on the sac fly to right but he was stranded when Alex Rios snared a deep fly ball at the wall in centre to rob Jason Bay of extra bases. If Rios put a little extra mustard on his leap, it would've been a good impersonation of Devon White's catch against the fence in Game 3 of the 1992 World Series.
Halladay got a lead to work when his battery mate Rod Barajas delivered a two-out, two-run double off lefty Jon Lester to score a pair of walks by Lyle Overbay and Rios in the bottom of the second. The Red Sox got a pair of one-out base knocks by Pedroia and Youkilis in the third but Big Papi bounced into a fielder's choice by somehow beating the relay to first. Bay then flied out to center to end the frame. That was the start of nine in a row set down by Doc before Ortiz singled with one out in the sixth. However, Halladay took care of the next two hitters to end the frame. In the home half of the sixth, Barajas came through again with a sac fly to drive home a Overbay double. It was also the second time B.A. bailed out Kevin Millar as he failed to drive the ball out of the infield. I guess he'll always be a Red Sock at heart!
That proved to be more than enough for Halladay, who finished the game by setting down the last 11 hitters in a row. He put the punctuation mark on his outing by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury to end the game. The fans went bananas and as much as I want to believe it was all for Doc, it was really because he racked up seven strikeouts to give the 36,000-plus in attendance a free slice of pizza.
Every Jays starter had a hit or a walk save for Millar and Aaron Hill. At least Hill hit the ball on a couple of occasions but the BABIP gods are working against him as his average falls to .284. He did manage to steal a base after reaching on a fielder's choice and Rios also pilfered second. Vernon Wells sat out again with a stomach flu.
The Jays have Monday off. They'll open up a three game set against the Indians at the Dome Tuesday. It'll be all lefties on the mound for the Jays with Brett Cecil, Ricky Romero and Marc Rzepczynski. Thursday's game is an afternoon tilt at 12:37 p.m. The other two are the usual 7:07 start times.
In TDIB notes for this Monday.....
* J.A. Happ pitches the Phillies to an eighth straight win.
* Jason Marquis? is one "W" ahead of Doc for the major league lead as he wins his 12th for the Rox.
* Former Jay Felipe Lopez is now a Brewer.
* Pirates infielders Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson are one step closer to walking the plank.