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Bell no-hits Toronto for six innings

9/22/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- A hit batter might have hurt Roy Halladay's
chances of winning the AL Cy Young Award.

Halladay lost an opportunity to notch his 22nd win when he was
ejected Monday night, and Rob Bell held Toronto hitless for six
innings as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-2 to snap
a four-game losing streak.

Halladay (21-7) was tossed in the sixth for hitting Rocco
Baldelli with a pitch. After giving up a leadoff home run to Julio
Lugo and a single to Aubrey Huff, Halladay hit Baldelli hit in the
back with his first pitch.

Plate umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Halladay, who put up his arms in
disbelief.

Halladay had to calm down before talking to the media.

"I don't know what he had in mind or what he thought,"
Halladay said of Cuzzi. "I think he only knows that. It's tough
because you want to stay in, but there is really nothing you can do
at that point."

Cuzzi declined to comment after the game.

Before the game, warnings were issued to both clubs about
hitting batters. Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said he didn't tell
Halladay about the warning.

Halladay and Tosca argued with Cuzzi for several minutes as fans
booed. The right-hander also hit Damian Rolls with a pitch in the
fourth.

Halladay, a leading contender for the Cy Young Award, entered
with a 3.18 ERA. He left trailing 1-0.

"I wanted a chance to win," Halladay said.

Tosca said he didn't think the ejection and loss would hurt
Halladay's Cy Young chances.

"I hope not," Tosca said.

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he complained to
Sandy Alderson, the executive vice president of baseball operations
in the commissioner's office.

"I talked to Sandy Alderson and obviously he's got to see what
their version is. It's unfortunate. Doc is out there trying to win
a Cy Young and he gets charged with three earned runs," Ricciardi
said.

Halladay allowed three runs on five hits in five-plus innings.
He struck out eight and walked none.

Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella wasn't upset when Halladay was
ejected.

"There's no question that Halladay is extremely tough. He's as
good a pitcher as there is in this league," Piniella said.

Dan Reichert, who relieved Halladay, walked Travis Lee before
Rolls hit a two-run single. Marlon Anderson followed with an RBI
single, giving Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead.

Cuzzi also ejected Tampa Bay's Toby Hall for arguing in the
sixth.

Halladay had not allowed an earned run in a club-record 41
innings before Lugo's homer. The Toronto ace had thrown four
consecutive complete games -- he came in 4-0 with a 0.24 ERA in
September.

Halladay's ejection wasn't the first trouble between the teams.

Tosca wrote a quote from Devil Rays' outfielder Carl Crawford on
a clubhouse message board before a game on Sept. 10. After Tampa
Bay's win on Sept. 9 Crawford said it seemed that when the Blue
Jays get behind "they kind of let down a little bit."

Over the weekend the Blue Jays ran an advertisement that showed
Halladay, Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells under the words "A
chance for Carl Crawford and the Devil Rays to see real All-Stars
up close."

In the fourth inning, the Blue Jays posted Crawford's quote on
the JumboTron.

"If that's what they want to do get their team fired up, let
them do that. I don't see a reason for it," said Crawford, who had
an RBI single.

Bell (5-4) took a no-hit bid into the seventh before Wells
doubled leading off the inning. Bell then got two outs before Bobby
Kielty chased him with an RBI double.

The 26-year-old right-hander allowed one run and two hits,
striking out four and walking one in 6 2-3 innings.

Chad Gaudin, Joe Kennedy and Lance Carter followed Bell and
finished the four-hitter.

Reed Johnson later extended his hitting streak to 19 games with
an RBI single off Kennedy, cutting Tampa Bay's lead to 5-2.

Game notes
Halladay is scheduled to make one more start this season,
Saturday against Cleveland. ... The Blue Jays have scored a total
of 13 runs in Halladay's seven losses. ... Lugo's homer was the
first earned run allowed by Halladay since the first inning of an
8-1 win over the New York Yankees on Sept. 1. ... Johnson's hitting
streak is a team rookie record, and the longest by an AL rookie
this season.