Series: Game 1 of 3

Toronto leads 1-0 (as of 6/6)

Game 1: Friday, June 6
Game 2: Saturday, June 7
Game 3: Sunday, June 8

Blue Jays 9

(33-29, 19-15 away)

Reds 2

(29-31, 17-15 home)

    7:10 PM ET, June 6, 2003

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 240030000 9 15 2
    CIN 101000000 2 9 1

    W: R. Halladay (8-2)

    L: J. Riedling (0-3)

    Delgado hits record-setting grand slam

    CINCINNATI (AP) _ Roy Halladay caught up with The Rocket. Carlos Delgado broke new ground in Toronto history.

    Halladay won his eighth straight start, matching Roger Clemens' team record, and Delgado hit a noteworthy grand slam as the Blue Jays beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 Friday night.

    Delgado, usually at his best against the other league, hit his eighth career slam in the second inning, breaking a tie with George Bell for the franchise record.

    "I've been lucky," Delgado said. "What are the chances? It's not something you can control. Also, it means I've been around for a long time."

    Delgado had the most decisive of the Blue Jays' 15 hits. Vernon Wells added a three-run homer, and Frank Catalanotto had four hits as he barely missed the cycle. He singled twice, doubled, tripled, walked and flied out to the warning track in center.

    After three consecutive capacity crowds for the New York Yankees' first visit since 1976, only 28,281 showed up on a rainy night to see an unfamiliar team.

    Toronto and Cincinnati play each other regularly during spring training in Florida, but had never met in the regular season. The Blue Jays won all three games this spring and stayed perfect when it counted.

    "One slight advantage we have when we play Cincinnati is we do play those guys in spring training, so we do know their hitters," manager Carlos Tosca said. "It's not an unknown club to us."

    Clemens didn't face the Reds this week, resting up for his third try at win No. 300 at Wrigley Field on Saturday. Halladay (8-2) matched his Toronto record for consecutive wins by pitching eight solid innings.

    "Really, as I've been saying all along, it's more abut the team," Halladay said. "In three or four games, they bailed me out and scored runs for me."

    Adam Dunn hit his 19th homer, but Halladay coaxed three double plays that kept the Reds at bay. The right-hander gave up eight hits and struck out seven.

    Delgado had a run-scoring double in the first off John Riedling (0-3), then came to bat with the bases loaded in the second and hit his 18th homer, a shot to right-center that the outfielders merely watched.

    Delgado usually shines against the NL. He pulled into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro for most homers in interleague play with 32, and the five-RBI game moved him ahead of Sammy Sosa for most RBIs in interleague play with 93.

    Not bad for someone who doesn't like the concept.

    "I hate interleague play," Delgado said. "You see guys you've never faced before. It's kind of cool for the fans. They get to see players they wouldn't have an opportunity to see. For us, it's hard enough trying to figure out pitchers in our league."

    For the second night in a row, a Reds starter failed to reach the fourth inning. Riedling faced eight batters in the first inning and nine in the second, giving up seven hits, four walks and six runs before leaving for a pinch hitter.

    Danny Graves made it through only three innings in a 10-2 loss to the Yankees on Thursday. In the last 20 games, Reds starters are 1-10 with a 7.19 ERA.

    Afterward, Riedling complained about the mound at Great American Ball Park, which most pitchers -- Halladay included -- consider the flattest in the majors.

    The mound has been checked six times by baseball officials and a private contractor, and found to conform to standards.

    "It's hard for a sinkerball pitcher in this stadium with the mound so low," said Riedling, who has a 4.40 ERA on the road and an 8.71 ERA at home. "Me being 5-foot-9, I need to be pitching from a height so I can get some tilt on my fastball. Everywhere else, the mound is higher. I don't care what anyone says. There's no comparison."

    Wells' 13th homer off Joey Hamilton put the Blue Jays up 9-2 in the fifth. Delgado leads the AL with 64 RBIs, and Wells is right behind with 58.

    Game notes

    Rain delayed the start for 42 minutes. ... Clemens won eight consecutive starts for Toronto in 1997. ... Halladay hasn't lost since April 15 against the Yankees. ... Halladay singled in his first at-bat for his first major-league hit, ending an 0-for-9. ... Catalanotto has three four-hit games this season, including two this month. ... 3B Mike Bordick was scratched from the Blue Jays lineup because of a virus. ... OF Ken Griffey Jr. missed a second consecutive game for the Reds because of a virus. ... Hamilton was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville after the game to open a spot for RHP Ryan Dempster, who will be activated and start Saturday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press