Roy Halladay struck out nine in a seven-hitter, Aaron Hill hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Seattle Mariners 5-0 on Friday night.
Halladay turned in a gem in what could be his final home start with the Blue Jays, tying Kansas City's Zack Greinke for the major league lead with his third shutout. He got a standing ovation from the crowd of 20,668 when he took the mound for the ninth, then tipped his cap as he walked off to even louder cheers after it was done.
The subject of rampant trade speculation leading up to the July 31 deadline, there's no guarantee that Halladay, a free agent after 2010, will be back with the Blue Jays next season.
"You have to do what makes sense," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said before the game. "If it makes sense to bring him back, if you've got a chance to win or certainly get a wild card then hey, you would think about hanging on to Doc. If you didn't, you would maybe think it is time to move him and get something for him while you can."
As is now its custom, the entire Blue Jays groundskeeping staff lined up to applaud Halladay as he walked in from the bullpen before the game.
Halladay (16-10) got off to a solid start, needing just three pitches to catch leadoff batter Ichiro Suzuki looking at strike three. He threw 114 pitches, 81 for strikes, and lowered his ERA to 2.93, third best in the AL behind Greinke and Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
Four of the hits off Halladay were doubles, including two by Kenji Johjima, but the Mariners failed to get a runner to third.
Seattle rookie Doug Fister (2-4) held the Blue Jays hitless until Edwin Encarnacion's one-out single in the fifth.
Hill hit a two-run drive to left in the sixth for his team-best 34th homer, and Fister left in the seventh after yielding consecutive two-out singles to Travis Snider and John McDonald. Chris Jakubauskas came on and both runners advanced on a wild pitch before scoring on Jose Bautista's ground-ball single through the left side.
Fister, who has lost three straight starts, allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Suzuki went 1 for 4, keeping his average at .355. He was replaced by Bill Hall after fouling a ball off his foot in his final at-bat.
NOTES: Mariners 1B Russell Branyan (back) took batting practice for the second straight day but was too sore to take grounders. ... A group of fans in the upper deck hung a banner that read "Fire J.P.!" a reference to Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi. Security confiscated the banner in the bottom of the second. ... Brothers Kyle Phillips, a Toronto catching prospect, and Jason Phillips, Seattle's bullpen catcher, raced one another on the field before the game, with younger brother Kyle coming out the winner.