Halladay solves Rays to claim 13th win for Blue Jays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Roy Halladay got the run support he needed to earn his first win of the season against Tampa Bay.

Halladay gave up two runs over eight innings for his 13th win and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Rays 5-2 on Friday night.

"You're always determined to beat teams, but I think you always are conscious of controlling what you can control," Halladay said. "They pitched well against us early on and it has made it tough."

Halladay (13-5) was 0-2 in three previous starts against Tampa Bay this season. The right-hander allowed eight hits and struck out six in pitching at least eight innings for the fifth time in his last six starts.

"My goals are to keep things simple and keep your approach simple as you pitch, and I think that allows you to get deep in the game," Halladay said.

The Rays still have won six of the last nine games when Halladay started against them. Halladay is 12-9 overall in 32 games, including 29 starts, overall against Tampa Bay.

The Blue Jays got homers from Lyle Overbay and Adam Lind. Jason Frasor pitched the ninth to record his sixth save.

Carl Crawford had four hits, including two doubles, for the Rays, who have lost five consecutive games. James Shields (7-9) gave up five runs and eight hits in eight innings.

"This is when we have to stick together," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "And stay with it."

Overbay put the Blue Jays up 2-0 in the first with a two-run homer. In nine games since being moved into the fourth spot of the lineup, Overbay has three homers and seven RBIs.

Toronto went ahead 4-0 in the second on an RBI double by Joe Inglett and Marco Scutaro's sacrifice fly. Lind hit a third-inning solo shot that made it 5-0.

"I think the first three innings was actually garbage from my point," Shields said. "I feel like I let the team down early, especially against a guy like Halladay."

Crawford doubled and later scored on Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly in the sixth. Gregg Zaun hit a solo homer during the eighth.

Tampa Bay had two runners on in both the third and fourth, but failed to score. Halladay got a double-play grounder from Jason Bartlett to end the third, and retired three in a row -- including strikeouts by Carlos Pena and Pat Burrell -- with runners on first and third in the fourth.

"When he has those kind of situations, I don't think he worries so much about it," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. "This guy is certainly a Hall of Fame type pitcher and that's what Hall of Fame pitchers do. They step up when they need to and get some outs for you."

Vernon Wells singled in the third to tie Lloyd Moseby (1,319) for third on the Blue Jays' all-time hit list. After that hit, Shields retired his next 16 batters before Overbay had a two-out single in the eighth.

"We were down 5-0, so I didn't want it to be 9-0," Shields said. "I wanted to give my team at least a chance. I did that and I'm happy about that, but we lost the game and I'm not too happy about that."

Game notes
Burrell left after striking out in the fourth with neck stiffness. ... Tampa Bay held a players only meeting before batting practice. The Rays were coming off a 1-5 road trip. ... Toronto recalled RHP Casey Janssen from Triple-A Las Vegas. He will work out of the bullpen. ... Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura (left knee surgery) started a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. ... Blue Jays DH Randy Ruiz, who had his contract purchased Tuesday from Las Vegas, is working out in the outfield and will get some defensive playing time. ... The Rays optioned RHP Jeff Bennett to Triple-A Durham after the game.