Twins get first win against Toronto's HalladayMinnesota Sports - Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay had been undefeated in all hsi starts against the Minneosta Twins. But that changed Wednesday.
TORONTO - The Minnesota Twins finally got the better of Roy Halladay on Wednesday night.
A pair of solo shots from Orlando Cabrera and Justin Morneau were the difference as the Toronto Blue Jays lost 4-1, giving Roy Halladay his first career defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Twins.
The Toronto starter pitched a complete-game nine-hitter and was on the hook for all four runs while striking out nine.
"It was a frustrating game," he said tersely. "You win those games 6-4 you're happy. I know I made mistakes that cost me and that bothers me, but any time you're not winning games it's frustrating."
Minnesota's Carl Pavano gave up one run off of six hits and struck out five for the win.
"He did an unbelievable job," Cuddyer said of Pavano. "He matched [Halladay] pitch for pitch. He got in some jams and got out of every single one of them. He pitched great, he deserved that win."
The two starters seemed to have their way with the batters they faced in the early going, as the two teams combined for just six hits over the first four scoreless innings.
Blue Jays attendance reaches record low
Only 11,159 fans were on hand for Wednesday's Blue Jays game, the smallest crowd in the history of the Rogers Centre.
The previous low-water mark occurred when the building was still known as the SkyDome. A mere 12,571 fans showed for the game on April 30, 2002, versus Texas.
"In order to get back to where we're going we certainly need our fans out here," said Toronto manager Cito Gaston. "We need their support, hopefully they'll realize that and come out and support us."
During the stretch, Vernon Wells came the closest of all in breaking the scoreless tie when in the fourth he managed a two-out single off Pavano, stole second and reached third on an error. However, Rod Barajas popped out to strand his centre fielder.
With two runners aboard and two out in the fifth, Halladay (14-9) continued to stonewall the Twins when he got Denard Span to whiff on a breaking ball for the Toronto hurler's sixth strikeout of the night.
The Blue Jays (62-77) cracked Pavano (12-11) in the sixth when leadoff man Edwin Encarnacion smacked what would be a fortuitous triple to centre field. As the Toronto third baseman slid into third, the ball bounced off of Encarnacion's foot instead of making it to the glove of a waiting Brian Buscher.
Next batter Travis Snider cashed in Encarnacion with his second double of the game for the 1-0 lead.
"Pavano did a good job of making pitches when he needed to," said Snider. "[Halladay] gave us a chance to win the ball game but we couldn't get it done offensively."
Minnesota goes yard twice on Halladay
It didn't take long for Minnesota (70-69) to respond as leadoff man Orlando Cabrera smashed the second pitch he saw from Halladay over the left field bullpen to knot the game once again.
With two out in the top of the seventh, Halladay issued a full-count walk to Jose Morales while next batter Nick Punto arrived safely at first thanks to an error charged to Scutaro.
But just like the fifth inning, Halladay got himself out of the jam — this time by freezing Span with a fastball to end the threat.
In the eighth, the Twins turned to the long ball once again to best Halladay. Justin Morneau jumped all over a fastball from the Toronto ace to take a 2-1 lead. The homer was the 30th of the year and 100th RBI on the season for the native of New Westminster, B.C.
"I've been struggling for a while," said Morneau. "Hopefully it's something that gets me going, gets us going."
The Blue Jays played some small-ball in an attempt to tie things up in the bottom of the inning. After a Scutaro single, Bautista made a sacrifice bunt to move his shortstop to second but that's as far as he would get.
Pavano left the game in favour of lefty Jose Mijares who mowed down the next two batters to send the game to the ninth.
Still on the mound in the ninth, Halladay surrendered a two-RBI double to Michael Cuddyer to put the game out of reach as Twins' closer Joe Nathan appeared in the bottom of the inning to shut down Toronto.