Doc in control on mound

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- Roy Halladay has had better games.

Like his 11 shutouts or 40 complete games in his career.

Has he had better innings?

The Jays scored their customary seven runs a night -- in one inning -- on the way to a 9-2 laugher to take three of four from the Minnesota Twins before 15,169 fans last night.

The finale of the seven game, five-win trip was won in the fifth.

The Jays are 8-3, a win off their best start set 17 years ago, and open a home series tonight at the Rogers Centre against the Oakland A's.

Locked in a duel with hard-throwing Francisco Liriano, Halladay took his game to another level with a one-run lead in the fifth.

Brendan Harris opened the fifth with a single and Halladay hit Denard Span in the leg with a curve as Span checked his swing on an 0-2 pitch. Catcher Rod Barajas, manager Cito Gaston and Halladay argued it was a swing and strike three.

Despite being outvoted 3-1, plate ump Mark Wegner ruled hit batter.

Halladay was upset but it didn't affect him. Instead, he turned him into a strike-throwing machine as nine of his next 10 pitches were strikes.

Halladay was like the elder brother seeing little sis get her faced washed with snow at recess. He restored order, elevating his game to a different level as he struck out Alexi Casilla on three pitches, Justin Morneau on four and Jason Kubel on another three.

The reviews.

Scott Rolen: "This is really, really unfair, but we've come to expect things like that from him."

Brandon League: "After the third one, guys in the bullpen were yelling 'THAT'S WHY HE'S THE BEST!' "

Michael Barrett: "Like in Cleveland the other day -- man on third, none out, he strikes out the side."

Barajas: "There's no panic in that situation he has so many weapons -- ground balls, strike outs, no reason to feel pressure."

Halladay struck out eight and allowed eight singles in his seven-inning, 101-pitch night.

With Liriano gone, the Jays pummelled the soft tummy of the Twins bullpen in the seventh.

Marco Scutaro hit a two-run homer and Kevin Millar tagged a grand slam. In all the Jays sent 12 men to the plate in the inning.


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