- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2005

TORONTO (AP) — Roy Halladay beat Baltimore for the first time this season, leading the Toronto Blue Jays over the Orioles 6-2 last night at Rogers Centre.

Halladay (11-4) entered 0-2 with a 7.43 ERA in two outings against the Orioles. But the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner looked better against them this time, allowing two runs and seven hits in eight innings.

“You obviously know about it, but I try to focus on my game,” Halladay said. “If you do let it affect you, sometimes it’s tougher to pitch that way. Maybe you feel like you have something to prove, or whatever, but those are things that distract you.”

Halladay later said he “never gives up or gives in. It’s just my mentality.”

Halladay struck out eight and walked none, lowering his ERA to 2.51. His two defeats to Baltimore were the only losses he suffered in his first 12 starts. He was 9-0 with a 1.60 ERA in his other 10 outings.

Orlando Hudson drove in three runs for the Blue Jays, who took three of four from the first-place Orioles to move within 51/2 games. Toronto is fourth in the American League East.

“It’s nice to pick up three games on them,” Halladay said.

Sidney Ponson (7-5) allowed six runs and 11 hits in 51/3 innings, raising his ERA to 5.42. He declined to speak to the media after the game.

“We pretty much needed a shutout out of Sidney with the way Roy pitched today, and we didn’t get it,” Baltimore’s Jay Gibbons said. “When you are facing a guy like that, runs are hard to come by.”

Baltimore’s Miguel Tejada hit an RBI grounder in the first, but Toronto scored twice in the second on Gregg Zaun’s RBI single and Hudson’s run-scoring single.

The Blue Jays added four runs in the sixth on Alex Rios’ RBI single, Hudson’s two-run double and Russ Adams’ sacrifice fly.

Tejada hit an RBI single in the eighth, cutting Toronto’s lead to 6-2.

Toronto rookie third baseman Aaron Hill robbed Rafael Palmeiro of extra bases with a diving, over the shoulder catch in shallow left field in the sixth. Moments later, Hill led off the bottom of the inning with a first-pitch single.

“I didn’t think it was going to carry as far as it did. It’s fun to make those plays every now and then,” Hill said.

Hill went 2-for-4, raising his average to .378.

“I’m riding the high right now,” he said. “We’ll see how long it lasts.”

Notes — Baltimore right-hander Jason Grimsley will make his first rehab start Sunday at Class AA Bowie. Grimsley had elbow ligament replacement surgery Oct.12. … Toronto manager John Gibbons said he spoke to center fielder Vernon Wells, who was lackadaisical while allowing Tejada to stretch a single into a double in the first inning of Wednesday’s game. “We handle that our own way,” Gibbons said. Asked for specifics, Gibbons said it was “team business.”

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