Jays' Johnson hit by three pitches

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Blue Jays rookie Gustavo Chacin had an
easy time with the Texas Rangers' lineup. Reed Johnson's at-bats
against their pitchers were a bit more painful.

Chacin allowed two hits over eight shutout innings and Johnson
was hit by a major league record-tying three pitches -- two with the
bases loaded -- in Toronto's 8-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on
Saturday night.

Chacin (3-0) walked two and hit a batter in his fifth major
league start to help the Blue Jays win for the sixth time in eight

"The kid's good," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He
knows how to pitch and he knows how to win."

Chacin gave the Blue Jays' rotation another strong start.
Toronto starters have allowed three runs or less in nine of their
12 games.

The left-hander worked out of trouble in the first when the
Rangers had runners at first and second with two outs, striking out
Richard Hidalgo. Chacin did not allow more than one baserunner in
any of his final seven innings.

"The first couple of innings, I got off to a slow start,"
Chacin said. "But after that, I kept hitting my spots and good
things happened."

Catcher Gregg Zaun said Chacin carries himself like a veteran
rather than a 24-year-old rookie.

"He does the things that veteran pitchers do against
good-hitting teams," Zaun said. "I don't think he's a flash in
the pan. He's gonna get better. He's not the kind of kid who's
gonna take a whole lot for granted."

A native of Venezuela, Chacin had three strikeouts and helped
the Blue Jays pitch their first shutout since a 7-0 win against the
New York Yankees on Oct. 1. Chacin has allowed three runs in 19
innings this season.

Meanwhile, Johnson was hit by pitches in the third, sixth and
eighth innings, with the last two driving in runs. He tied the big
league record, set 21 times and last by current teammate Corey
Koskie on July 27, 2004, while he was with the Minnesota Twins.

"Anything to help the team score some runs," Johnson said.
"It makes the job easier for everyone else."

Jose Vidro was the last player to get hit twice with the bases
loaded in a single game. He drove in two the hard way as a Montreal
Expo against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 22, 2001.

Koskie downplayed the record he and Johnson now share.

"It's something that just happens," Koskie said. "You don't
even think about it."

Shea Hillenbrand went 3-for-4 with a homer for Toronto, while
Zaun, John McDonald and Orlando Hudson each had two hits.

Hillenbrand's second-inning homer gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

Toronto made it 4-0 with a three-run sixth against Texas starter
Kenny Rogers. The Blue Jays loaded the bases when Hillenbrand
singled, Alex Rios reached on second baseman Alfonso Soriano's
fielding error, and Zaun singled.

Hudson, who had just two hits in his previous 19 at-bats,
singled to drive in Hillenbrand and Rios for a 3-0 lead.

Soriano's dropped throw at second from shortstop Michael Young
on a potential double-play grounder gave the Blue Jays an opening,
and Toronto capitalized.

"I took my eyes off the ball too quick and missed it," said

Toronto loaded the bases again, and Rogers (0-1) hit Johnson
with a pitch to force in another run, extending the lead to 4-0.

Rogers allowed four runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings. He
struck out four and walked one.

Reliever Carlos Almanzar hit Johnson with the bases full in the
eighth to make it 5-0, and Koskie's two-run single pushed Toronto's
advantage to 7-0.

Game notes
The last time the Rangers were shut out was Sept. 26, 9-0
by the Seattle Mariners. ... All five of Chacin's major league
starts have been on the road, three this season. ... Almanzar made
his first appearance of the season in the eighth. Almanzar's mother
and brother died in the Dominican Republic earlier this month and
Almanzar was just removed from the bereavement list on Friday. "I
was waiting for this," Almanzar said. "That way I can forget
everything that's happened to me. I was prepared, ready to go."