There's a telling statistic when it comes to Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Since the beginning of the 2005 season, Halladay has compiled a 17-4 record in the 30 games he's started following a Toronto loss.
Over the course of Halladay's impressive career, though, he's never had to take the mound after eight consecutive Blue Jays defeats. But that will be the precise case on Thursday, when Halladay will aim to stop Toronto's worst losing streak in five years.
"He doesn't need to save the day -- it's always a team effort," Toronto manager John Gibbons said after the Jays' 9-3 loss to Boston on Wednesday. "It's a long streak. It's a tough streak. I've never been through one this long, but as I've said before, this game doesn't let up good or bad."
The eight-game skid is Toronto's longest slump since dropping nine straight from April 24-May 3, 2002. The Blue Jays have lost all eight games they've played this month, marking the longest drought to open any month since Toronto lost 10 straight to begin August in 1981. That slide was a part of a club-worst 12-game losing streak.
Halladay will try and bounce back from one of the worst starts of his career when he takes the mound against the Red Sox. The veteran righty allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings in his last start against the Rangers. It was the most runs Halladay had given up since also yielding nine in a loss to Oakland on April 25, 2000.
Countering for the Red Sox is knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. The 15-year veteran has been a pleasant surprise at the back-end of Boston's rotation this season. He's always been an innings-eater but this season the right-hander is 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA.
The win total would be higher if the Red Sox gave him some more run support. In his last 11 starts -- going back to July 17 -- Boston has scored only 16 runs with Wakefield in the game. In his last start against the Jays, on April 23, Wakefield allowed three earned runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (4-1, 3.59 ERA)
Halladay is 9-7 with a 4.46 ERA in 29 career appearances versus Boston.
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (3-3, 2.11 ERA)
Wakefield has seen a lot of Toronto during his 15-year career. The veteran righty is 13-9 with a 3.86 ERA in 42 career appearances versus the Jays.
Player to watch
Jays shortstop Royce Clayton is batting a career .308 (12-for-39) with one home run and two RBIs against Wakefield.
On the Internet
Official game notes
Friday: Devil Rays (LHP Scott Kazmir, 2-1, 3.71) at Blue Jays (RHP A.J. Burnett, 2-3, 5.09), 7:07 p.m. ET
Saturday: Devil Rays (RHP Edwin Jackson, 0-5, 6.99) at Blue Jays (RHP Dustin McGowan, 0-0, 9.00), 1:07 p.m. ET
Sunday: Devil Rays (RHP Jae Seo, 1-3, 8.82) at Blue Jays (TBA), 1:07 p.m. ET
Gregor Chisholm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.