Red Sox 6 Blue Jays 1
TORONTO — Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay usually finished what he starts, but on Wednesday his night was over after a scant five innings.
David Ortiz and Jason Bay went deep off Halladay and Victor Martinez added a ninth-inning homer as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 6-1.
Halladay (13-6) allowed eight hits and five runs — four earned — and was chased after five innings before a crowd of 25,925 at Rogers Centre. His only shorter start this season was a three-inning outing on June 12 against the Florida Marlins, when he left with a strained groin.
When he returned from the disabled list from that injury on June 29 he was limited to six innings in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Other than that he has pitched at least seven innings in his other 21 starts this season, including five complete games.
The last time he went five innings in a start was June 14, 2008, in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.
“It was a grind,” said Halladay who made 103 pitches. “You know you’re going to have those.”
Wednesday was the first time he has not worked at least six innings against an American League team since July 12, 2007, when he went five innings in Boston — a span of 70 starts.
“He just didn’t have good location tonight, command of his pitches,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “And of course we weren’t able to score any runs. Velocity-wise he was good but some pitches I’m pretty sure he’d like to get them in a different spot. One thing about Doc, he usually has good control but he didn’t tonight.”
Halladay gave up two walks and struck out seven. He allowed a total of one walk in his previous four starts.
“I was trying to make quality pitches and I just didn’t do it,” Halladay said. “I just did a bad job of pitching ahead, aggressively. I was kind of behind, trying to fight my way through it.“
Halladay made way for Josh Roenicke, who pitched three hitless innings.
Clay Buchholz (2-3) allowed six hits and one run in six innings to earn the victory.
The Red Sox have won the first two games of the three-game series.