Blue Jays 7, Nationals 6

BY foxsports • April 2, 2009

Roy Halladay is all set to make his franchise-record seventh consecutive opening-day start for the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay threw six sharp innings in a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. The right-hander gave up two runs, one earned, and five hits. "I think it worked out well, to be able to get up to 95 (pitches) last time and just back off a little bit and feel a little stronger going in," said Halladay, who struck out five and walked none while throwing 62 pitches. "I feel ready." John Lannan, Washington's opening-day starter, didn't fare as well. He was rocked for seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. "I was falling behind in the count, trying to do to much, I guess, at times, and just leaving the ball up," he said. "When you go 2-0, 2-1, they pretty much know what's coming. They're great hitters and that's basically what happened. "I felt great all spring and these days are going to happen I guess. You just have to keep them to a minimum. I just have to learn to battle out there a little more. I guess I'm glad I got (the rough outing) out of the way." Lannan, who was 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA last year in his first full season in the majors, threw 51 of his 90 pitches for strikes. Scott Rolen hit his second spring homer and Vernon Wells had a two-run double for Toronto, which finished with 11 hits. "We play 90 games like that, it'd be great, absolutely great," manager Cito Gaston said. Halladay threw 26 pitches, 24 for strikes, in his final three innings. "In the fourth and fifth I kind of hit a spot where some of the strikes were over the middle," he said. "The last inning and a half was a lot better." Notes: Washington 2B Anderson Hernandez will start the season on the 15-day disabled list. Hernandez has an injured left hamstring. The Nationals said Wednesday that the move will be retroactive to March 27. ... LHP Brad Mills was returned to minor league camp, leaving rookie right-hander Scott Richmond as the fifth starter in the Blue Jays' rotation. Michael Barrett was named the backup catcher behind Rod Barajas when Raul Chavez was returned to the minors. 2B Joe Inglett was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... The Blue Jays released RHP Matt Bush for "failing to comply with team guidelines." Bush, the No. 1 overall draft pick as a shortstop by San Diego in 2004, was involved in a couple of alcohol-related incidents while with the Padres, who traded him to Toronto on Feb. 10. ... Richmond and David Purcey give the Blue Jays two rookies in their opening-day rotation for the first time.

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