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Halladay first to win 12 as Jays overpower Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays like their chances
with Roy Halladay pitching. When they get Halladay an early lead,
they feel even more comfortable.

Halladay became the majors' first 12-game winner, Aaron Hill had
four hits for the second consecutive game and the Blue Jays
beat the Kansas City Royals 11-3 Sunday.

"Even scoring three runs in the first, it is a comfortable
feeling with him pitching," Vernon Wells said. "It allows him to
go out and do what he does. He's fun to watch cause that's pretty
much all we're doing in the outfield is watching. I sat out there
and played with my glove."

Wells in center and Reed Johnson in left did not record a putout
in the game.

Troy Glaus, Eric Hinske and Bengie Molina homered for the Blue
Jays, who finished with 16 hits. John McDonald went 3-for-4 and
scored two runs.

Halladay (12-2) held the Royals to one run and four hits in
seven innings. The All-Star right-hander struck out six, walked one
and lowered his ERA to 2.92. He allowed just one run and 10 hits in
14 2/3 innings in wins over Texas and Kansas City in his final two
starts before the All-Star break.

"Hopefully we've righted the ship a little bit here after
coming in here and not playing well the first couple of days,"
Halladay said. "At least we salvaged the last two and get out on a
good note, which I think is important."

The Blue Jays enter the break in third place in the AL East,
behind Boston and New York.The Blue Jays will play their next 10
games at home.

"We're going to have to come back and start playing well real
quick," Halladay said. "The last four series of our season is New
York, Boston, Detroit and New York. It's going to be important for
us to come back and play well right away, so we hopefully can go
into those last series having it mean something."

Glaus hit his 23rd homer in the first with Johnson and Hill
on base to provide Halladay all the runs he would need.

"He's a No. 1 pitcher for a reason," Glaus said. "When you
give him a lead, he knows how to pitch with it. That was vintage
Doc."

The Blue Jays collected 31 hits in the final two games after
getting just 10 hits in the first two of the series.

"The biggest difference is offensively," Halladay said. "It's
a lot easier to go out and pitch, knowing we can score a lot of
runs, whether it be early like we did today or later in the game.
It's nice being able to go out there and knowing that. It's nice to
have those runs early, but you still attack the game the same
way."

Hill, who has raised his average 22 points from .275 to .297
with three straight multihit games, had hits in six consecutive
at-bats before Emil Brown made a diving catch in right field to rob
him of another hit in the eighth inning. Hill went 4-for-5 for the
second straight game.

Hill had RBI singles in the fourth and sixth. He also scored in
the sixth on Shea Hillenbrand's double.

"Just getting two runs for Halladay is good for him," Hill
said. "That guy is our horse. He's a great pitcher and he's going
to be a great pitcher for a long time."

The Royals had won 14 of 20 before losing the past two games to
Toronto.

"Today was similar to games we lost earlier in the year,"
Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "We didn't get enough pitching
early in the game. It made for a tough situation to comeback, going
against a guy like Halladay."

Molina hit a two-run drive off Joe Nelson in the Blue Jays'
six-run sixth, his seventh homer of the season. Hinske led off the
sixth with his eighth home run off Todd Wellemeyer.

Tony Graffanino singled and scored on Brown's groundout in the
fourth. Doug Mientkiewicz and Angel Berroa also had RBI singles for
Kansas City.

Left-hander Jimmy Gobble (3-2) was pulled after 3 1/3 innings,
the second straight game the Royals starter lasted only 3 1/3
innings. Gobble, who was making his third start, gave up five runs
and eight hits. He struck out four and walked two.

"My pitches were elevated a little," Gobble said. "Glaus hit
a pitch I was trying to throw. I was trying to get the count back
to even and didn't think he's be looking for a ball in. That was my
mistake. I looked at the tape and it was a pitch I wanted to
make."

Game notes
Royals 2B Mark Grudzielanek, who left the game Saturday
with tightness in his lower back, did not play Sunday. ... The Blue
Jays went 3-4 on this trip to Texas and Kansas City. ... The Royals
have doubled in 31 straight games, the longest streak in the majors
this season. ... Rain delayed the start of the game for 15 minutes.