"If there was an urgency to be somewhere else and an urgency from the team to have me somewhere else, I think it would be different," Halladay, the most sought-after player on the trade market, said. "I just don't get that feeling. At this point I feel like I'm going to be here."
Going The Distance
Roy Halladay positioned himself atop a remarkable list on Friday. The Jays' workhorse equalled Randy Johnson's mark for the most nine-plus inning starts since 1998.
Most Starts of 9+ IP
If Friday night's game was his last with Toronto he gave the crowd of 24,151 one more solid effort, going nine innings before Tampa Bay scored twice in 10th for a 4-2 victory.Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is July 31 but Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has set a loose deadline of July 28 to work out a deal. Halladay's next scheduled start is July 29 at Seattle.With trade rumors swirling, both Ricciardi and interim CEO Paul Beeston declined comment when approached before the game."No more talk," Beeston said. "That doesn't mean I don't have a lot to say, but I'm not going to say it."Beeston wanted to keep a lid on things after Ricciardi said Thursday that Halladay's desire to test free agency was the team's primary reason for seeking a trade. Halladay, who has a full no-trade clause, can become a free agent after the 2010 season.Halladay, however, said he simply wants to see whether Toronto can compete next year before he decides to try the open market. Now 32 and still awaiting his first trip to the postseason, Halladay acknowledged the need to be "a little bit selfish" when free agency arrives."Knowing that window is getting shorter to have a chance to win, I want to make that decision knowing everything that's out there and not having to predict the future," he said.With one out in the 10th, B.J. Upton of the Rays reached on a fielder's choice and went to second when Carl Crawford walked. Longoria followed with a double off Scott Downs (1-2) that dropped just in front of left fielder Joe Inglett."He threw a good pitch," Longoria said. "I just put the hit in the right spot."Matt Garza (7-7) won for the first time in four starts by allowing two runs and five hits in nine innings, his longest outing this season. The righty, who walked none and struck out nine, is 3-2 with a 1.16 ERA in five starts at Rogers Centre."I was just trying to match [Halladay] pitch for pitch and keep my pitch count in the same area as his," Garza said. "That's what happened. Not walking anybody really helped too."J.P. Howell closed it out for his 11th save in 16 chances.Halladay allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits. He walked three and struck out 10, the eighth 10-strikeout game of his career. He's 0-2 in three starts against the Rays this season.Halladay got his first standing ovation of the night before the game started, with fans rising to applaud as he walked in from the bullpen."It was electric, it was a great atmosphere," Halladay said. "It was fun to be in."After being on the receiving end of Chicago's Mark Buehrle's perfect game Thursday, Crawford made sure the Rays would not go without a baserunner for the second straight day by singling up the middle in the first."It's a tough two games in a row, Buehrle and Roy," Longoria said. "Once we got the first hit out of the way today it was kind of like 'All right, we can get back to playing our game now."Consecutive sacrifice flies by Crawford and Longoria gave the Rays a 2-0 lead in the third but Toronto answered with a two-out rally in the bottom half. Marco Scutaro singled home Alex Rios and scored on Aaron Hill's double to center.
Fans in center field hung a banner that read "Thx 4 memories Doc," while others held signs urging the team to keep Halladay and trade Ricciardi. ... Toronto returned RHP Casey Janssen (shoulder) from his rehab assignment and optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Rays LHP Brian Shouse (elbow) pitched at Class-A Charlotte for the second straight night and could come off the 15-day DL Monday. ... The roof opened during the top of the fourth.