Roy Halladay, Alex Rios Lead Toronto to Victory over Tampa Bay

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst ISeptember 5, 2008

The game started off rough for Roy Halladay, but he was able to rebound, earning his 18th victory of the season in a 6-4 win.

The Rays got off to a quick start in the first inning, managing to capitalize on some defensive errors on the Jays' part, scoring two runs.

Halladay settled down after the inning though, not giving up a run again until his seventh and last inning. He finished the game having given up seven hits in those seven innings, giving up just three runs (only one earned), and striking out seven.

Although this may end up being Halladay's best season yet (he has four starts remaining), it is unlikely that he will win the CY Young as Cliff Lee is 20-2 with a 2.35 ERA.

Halladay would most certainly have a better record if not for the extreme lack of run support he usually gets. He will likely set career marks in strikeouts and possibly complete games. He has a great opportunity to reach the 20-win plateau for the second time in his career.

Scott Downs and B.J. Ryan were able to preserve the lead for Halladay after his exit. Ryan earned himself his 27th save of the season.

Meanwhile, the Jays' offense was able to provide Halladay with some run support for once. In the second inning, the Blue Jays tagged Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine for three runs—two on a double from Lyle Overbay and another on a sacrifice fly by Scott Rolen to pull out ahead 3-2.

That overcame the big error by Toronto's Joe Inglett in the first, which opened the door for the two Tampa Bay runs.

Alex Rios also provided some offensive spark with two homers in the game, giving him 13 on the year and a career-high nine in the second half.

Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine lasted six innings, giving up four runs on five hits, one walk, while striking out three. J.P. Howell pitched a scoreless inning in relief but Grant Balfour gave up two runs in his inning of work.

Up next: Shaun Marcum (8-6) makes his first start since being called up from the minors against the Tampa Bay Rays James Shields (12-8).