ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Roy Halladay pitched like it was 2003,
when he won the AL Cy Young Award.
Halladay threw a five-hitter for his 16th career complete game,
and pinch-hitter Russ Adams drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI
groundout to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over the
Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
Halladay (2-0) started the night with a 9.20 ERA in six career
appearances at the Rangers' hitter-friendly ballpark, but he was in
control as he struck out nine and walked one in his third start.
"It's nice to go long in a close game," Halladay said. "This
has always been a tough lineup for me. I haven't figured them out
but I had a better idea than I had in the past."
It was Halladay's first complete game since last April 15 at
Toronto manager John Gibbons said Halladay was pitching so well
that he wasn't tempted to go to closer Miguel Batista in the ninth.
"It was his game to win or lose," Gibbons said. "I'm a rookie
manager. He would have fought me if I tried to take him out."
Zaun's hit came on a fly ball to shallow right that hit the foul
line ahead of a diving right fielder Richard Hidalgo.
Adams, pinch hitting for John McDonald, dribbled a grounder to
first that scored Rios and helped the Blue Jays to their fifth
victory in six games.
The Blue Jays improved to 7-3, their best start since also
winning seven of their first 10 in 2001.
Halladay, limited to 21 starts due to right shoulder problems
last year, retired the first nine Rangers in order before Alfonso
Soriano led off the fourth with a double.
"There's not a whole lot of margin for error with Halladay out
there," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "You could tell
early that he was on top of his game. He threw two fastballs above
the knees all night. He had the cutter, the plus-curveball and
everything was down."
Meanwhile, Astacio allowed two runs and five hits over seven
innings. He struck four and walked two.
Astacio was seeking his first AL win, and his first victory
since May 22, 2003, while with the New York Mets. Astacio appeared
in only five games last season with the Boston Red Sox because of
right shoulder problems, compiling a 10.38 ERA.
"Sometimes you have to give the other guy credit," Astacio
said. "Halladay pitched a great game."
Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the first on Vernon Wells' sacrifice
fly. Texas tied it at 1 in the fifth on an run-scoring infield
single by Gary Matthews Jr. McDonald made a nice play at shortstop
to keep Matthews' hit from going up the middle, but his throw was
"I wanted to get him out, but I didn't want to make a bad
throw," McDonald said. "All I was thinking was to knock it down.
And I had faith in Doc (Halladay) that he was going to get the next
Halladay retired Soriano on a fly-out to end the fifth.
Showalter used his ninth different lineup. ... Rangers RHP
Frank Francisco pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab assignment
for Double-A Frisco on Thursday night. Francisco is on the 15-day
disablied list due to a sore right elbow. Showalter wants to see
how Francisco's arm holds up after pitching on consecutive days.
...Toronto had lost six straight in Arlington. The Blue Jays' last
win there was on May 8, 2003. ...Texas' Michael Young went 0-for-4
to snap a nine-game hitting streak.