If Friday’s home start at the Rogers Centre was indeed Roy Halladay’s last in a Jays uniform, the man affectionately known as ‘Doc’ left on the highest possible note.
Halladay (16-10) pitched his major-league leading eighth complete game of the season and second baseman Aaron Hill hit his 34th home run as the Jays (70-84) defeated the Mariners 5-0.
It was the 48th career complete game for the Jays ace, who scattered just seven hits and no walks, for his fourth consecutive season of at least 16 wins.
“It’s fun pitching at home, it’s fun winning at home,” Halladay told Sportsnet after the game.
While Hill’s season has been a revelation in an otherwise down year for the club, it has been a tale of two campaigns for Halladay, who sported a 10-1 record with 2.53 ERA before he was placed on the disabled list on July 17 with a right groin injury.
Dealing with constant trade rumors and a lack of run support, Halladay had won only five of his last 16 starts before Friday night’s victory.
In his 10 losses this season, the right hander has received only 22 runs of support.
In the friendly confines of the Rogers Centre, where the Colorado native has a career record of 83-34, the Jays ace put forward another strong performance.
Through the first four innings, Halladay was being outpitched by Mariners rookie pitcher Doug Fister (2-4), who retired the first 13 batters before third basemen Edwin Encarnacion reached base on a single.
After a Jose Bautista single in the sixth inning, Hill broke a scoreless tie open with a homer to deep left, putting the Jays up 2-0.
Toronto continued to add to its lead in the seventh when Bautista singled off Mariners pitcher Chris Jakubauskas, scoring Travis Snider and John McDonald to give the Jays a 4-0 lead.
Fister, who allowed four runs over six and two third innings, gave up singles to Snider and McDonald in the seventh and was pulled.
After a Lyle Overbay double scored Encarnacion in the eighth to make it 5-0, Halladay was given a standing ovation before he took to the mound in the ninth.
After a Jose Lopez single, Ken Griffey Jr. fouled out to first and Adrian Beltre lined out to second, the home crowd began cheering for Halladay, who got Kenji Johjima to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
“The fans have been awesome to me,” Halladay said. “It’s one of those things when you’re done playing that you’ll never forget.
“These are the moments that stay with you.”
Notes: Halladay has given up 22 homers this season, the most since 2003 when he gave up 26 long balls … The Jays have won 23 of the last 33 meetings between the two clubs at home.