DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) – Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston is so used to watching Roy Halladay pitch well that Monday’s rocky start by the right-hander surprised him.

Halladay gave up three homers in Toronto’s 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox, allowing four runs and eight hits over five innings.

Jeff Bailey went deep in the second, Jed Lowrie homered in the third and Chris Carter connected in the fifth against Halladay, whose nine-inning scoreless streak ended when Lowrie doubled in a run in the first.

“Most of the fastballs, both sinker and cutter, I left quite a few over the middle,” said Halladay, who was 20-11 with a 2.78 ERA last season. “Especially, I was trying to go away and brought a lot of them back over the plate.

“I know there’s a lot I need to work on every spring to get myself ready. Things like this are all part of it, overcoming games like that and making adjustments.”

Justin Masterson pitched three-plus innings for Boston, allowing three runs and six hits.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Masterson “had good velocity. A couple of left-handers got into fastball counts and they hit it. He’ll come back in his next rotation and start again. By then we’ll be pretty deep in camp.”

Lowrie finished with three hits and Bailey and Carter each went 2-for-4.

Travis Snider hit his third home run of the spring for Toronto.

Notes: The Blue Jays optioned RHP Robert Ray and LHPs Bill Murphy and Davis Romero to Triple-A Las Vegas, optioned RHP Matt Bush and LHP Luis Perez to Class A Dunedin, and returned catchers Brian Jeroloman and J.P. Arencibia to their minor league camp. … The crowd of 5,697 was the Blue Jays’ second spring sellout.

AP-ES-03-16-09 1754EDT


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