Halladay on the hill for rubber game
Boston (8-5) at Toronto (8-6), 12:37 p.m. ET
Roy Halladay has a tough act to follow.
The last time Toronto's ace took the mound, he simply put on a show. On Friday, the former American League Cy Young Award winner turned in 10 dominant innings against Detroit, leading the Blue Jays to a 2-1 win in extra innings.
In the performance, Halladay outdueled Tigers ace Jeremy Bonderman, who lasted nine innings. Halladay struck out just two, but he walked none and induced 15 groundouts. The lone run the Jays starter allowed came on a solo home run by Detroit's Magglio Ordonez.
The victory improved his record to 17-3 in starts following a Blue Jays loss -- a mark that he'll aim to build upon again on Thursday, when the Jays host the Red Sox in the finale of a three-game set. Toronto struggled offensively against Boston on Wednesday, but the Jays are 24-4 when Halladay pitches after a defeat.
"Any time he's pitching some time in a series, you feel good," Jays manager John Gibbons said Wednesday night. "It won't be easy for him, because [the Red Sox] swing the bats and they're so balanced over there. But I can't think of a better guy you'd rather have go for you in all of baseball."
Boston will counter with right-hander Julian Tavarez, who will be making his first start in 12 days. On April 7, Tavarez lost his only start of the year after giving up four runs on six hits over four innings against the Rangers. Command was an issue as he walked five while striking out three in his 2007 debut as Boston's fifth starter.
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Tavarez is 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 19 games, including three starts, against Toronto.
TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (2-0, 2.35 ERA)
Halladay owns an 8-7 record with a 4.60 ERA in 27 career outings vs. Boston.
Player to watch
Toronto first baseman Lyle Overbay has hit .333 (4-for-12) with three doubles and two RBIs in his career against Tavarez.
FAN 590 AM
Friday: Blue Jays (RHP A.J. Burnett, 1-1, 7.07) at Orioles (RHP Daniel Cabrera, 1-1, 3.66), 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: Blue Jays (RHP Josh Towers, 1-1, 2.03) at Orioles (LHP Adam Loewen, 1-0, 3.95), 7:05 p.m. ET
Sunday: Blue Jays (LHP Gustavo Chacin, 2-0, 3.57) at Orioles (RHP Steve Trachsel, 0-1. 5.19), 1:35 p.m. ET
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.