Halladay ready to start second half

Halladay ready to start second half

The start of the second half of the season isn't going to be easy for the Blue Jays.

After having the last three days off because of the All-Star break, Toronto will be thrown right back into the fire. The Jays' first eight games of the second half will be against their main competitors in the American League East, the Yankees and the division-leading Red Sox.

Jays ace Roy Halladay will take the mound in the opener of the four-game series against Boston. Halladay picked up his team-leading 10th victory of the season in his last outing against the Indians.

The 30-year-old didn't have his best stuff against Cleveland, but he battled through 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out three. Halladay is now 5-1 since returning from an emergency appendectomy on May 31.

The Red Sox will counter with right-hander Tim Wakefield. The knuckleball specialist left to a standing ovation in his last start against the Devil Rays. He allowed four runs while striking out two before leaving with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. His pitching line would have been a lot better had the Red Sox relief corps not allowed all three inherited runners to score. It was still good enough to pick up his ninth win of the season, though.

Pitching matchup
TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (10-3, 4.46 ERA)
Halladay is 9-8 with a 4.67 ERA in his career against Boston.

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (9-8, 4.39 ERA)
Wakefield is 14-9 with a 3.75 in 43 career appearances against Toronto.

Player to watch
Jays center fielder Vernon Wells is hitting .275 (11-for-40) with two RBIs and four walks in his career against Wakefield.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• RSN

On radio
• FAN 590

Up next
• Friday: Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum, 4-3, 3.62) at Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 5-7, 4.97), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Blue Jays (Dustin McGowan, 5-4, 4.65) at Red Sox (Kason Gabbard, 2-0, 4.87), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Blue Jays (Jesse Litsch, 1-3, 4.65) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 12-2, 3.44), 2:05 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.