<
>

Halladay-Wells combination locks up victory

6/23/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Roy Halladay made the most of an opportunity to
speed up the pace of his winning streak.

Halladay won his 11th consecutive start and Vernon Wells homered
for the fourth straight game to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-2
victory over the Montreal Expos on Sunday.

Pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his 100
career starts, Halladay (11-2) extended his team-record streak and
the longest in the majors in six years.

"I felt the same," said Halladay, who pitched into the ninth
inning. "We backed off on some of the work we do inbetween starts
and some of the throwing, I think that might have had something to
do with it, but I felt really good. I felt locked in and physically
I felt as good as normal."

He allowed two unearned and four hits, leaving after the first
two batters reached in the ninth. Cliff Politte bounced back a
night after blowing the lead in an 8-5 loss to get three outs for
his 11th save. He allowed a sacrifice fly to Orlando Cabrera.

"They told me before the inning if I got anybody on, or if I
threw over 10 pitches, they were going to take me out so I kind of
understood," Halladay said. "You'd like to stay in and get
yourself out but I'm glad Cliff did it."

Halladay, who retired 16 in a row between Cabrera's RBI double
in the first and Jamey Carroll's two-out triple in the sixth, is
the first pitcher to win 11 consecutive starts since Minnesota's
Brad Radke won 12 straight in 1997.

"He just keeps rolling along," Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca
said. "He's a big strong horse. He's having a phenomenal year for
us and we got a real find in this guy because whatever we ask him
to do, he's able to do it."

Wells hit his 19th homer in the first, a two-run shot off Livan
Hernandez (6-6). He added an RBI single in the fifth and he
extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games.

"Usually when I hit home runs, they come in bunches," said
Wells, who homered twice Thursday in Baltimore before connecting in
all three games against Montreal.

Mike Bordick also homered for Toronto, which has won 10 of 12.
The Blue Jays won two of three against their Canadian counterparts,
becoming just the second visiting team to win a series in Montreal
this season.

The Expos, who returned from a 22-game, 25-day trip Thursday,
have lost eight of 10. Bordick's homer was the 100th allowed by
Montreal pitchers in 75 games.

"I can't make them keep the ball in the park, I just say we
have to do it and it was the big difference today," Expos manager
Frank Robinson said.

Wells staked Toronto to a 2-0 lead before Halladay took the
mound when he homered after Hernandez hit Frank Catalanotto with a
pitch with one out in the first.

Montreal scored an unearned run in the bottom half. Carroll
singled off Bordick's glove and slid safely into second as the Blue
Jays' third baseman was charged with an error when the ball bounded
into shallow center field.

Cabrera doubled off the left-field wall to make it 2-1.

Bordick led off the second with his second homer of the season
and Wells increased the lead to three when he singled to drive in
his third run of the game in the fifth.

Halladay mowed through the Expos' order following Cabrera's
double, getting the next two outs in the first before putting up
four straight perfect innings. He made a fine stab on pinch hitter
Jose Macias' drive back to the mound for the first out of the sixth
and got Endy Chavez to ground to third before Carroll tripled to
the right-field corner.

Hernandez allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings. He
struck out six and walked one.

Game notes
Roger Clemens holds the Blue Jays' record with wins in 15
straight decisions in 1998 ... Wells is hitting .400 (24-for-60)
over the course of his streak with three doubles, one triple, six
homers and 16 RBI. ... The Blue Jays improved to 9-8 at Olympic
Stadium and 20-14 overall against Montreal since interleague play
began in 1997. ... 1B Joe Vitiello made his Expos debut, entering
in a defensive switch in the eighth. Vitiello, whose contract was
purchased from Triple-A Edmonton on Saturday, hadn't played in the
majors since 2000 with San Diego. ... Carroll's first-inning single
was originally scored a two-base error before the official scorer
reviewed the play following the game.