Chacin cooled off the Chicago Cubs with seven shutout innings
and Reed Johnson hit a three-run homer Monday night, sending the
Blue Jays to a 4-1 interleague victory."They're playing great and they got hot guys," Chacin said.
"You got to be careful."Chacin (6-4) won a matchup of rookie left-handers, outpitching
John Koronka. Chacin allowed five hits, struck out a career-high
six and was backed by two double plays.The Blue Jays were struggling after losing series in Seattle and
Oakland, but they won for the fourth time in 11 games.The Cubs, meanwhile, had won nine of 10 and went 6-1 on their
West Coast swing to Los Angeles and San Diego."The guy threw a good game against us. A major difference is
the fact we didn't know him," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He
probably knew more about us than we did him."Johnson's fifth homer came in the second and was set up when the
Cubs didn't make a play on a bunt.Gregg Zaun singled and was forced at second by Josh McDonald.
When Chacin bunted, Koronka picked up the ball and threw late to
second."We didn't know the speed of McDonald," Baker said.The relay to first didn't get Chacin, either."Chacin did his thing pitching and he got down the line on the
bunt, hustling," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He shut down
a hot team."After McDonald stole third, Johnson homered to left-center on a
3-2 pitch for a 4-0 lead."To hit a home run in Wrigley Field is a pretty good feeling,"
Johnson said. "I didn't even realize it until I sat down in the
dugout and looked out onto the field and watched the rest of the
inning."Vinnie Chulk gave up a leadoff homer to Aramis Ramirez in the
ninth before Miguel Batista got three outs for his 10th save in 11
chances. With runners at the corners, he got Jose Macias to ground
into a game-ending double play."We saw [Chacin] on film. But today he was pitching backward
compared to what we'd seen," Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said.
"We had a good scouting report, but he didn't do anything we'd
seen until he got in trouble. We really didn't put pressure on him
all game."Aaron Hill hit a two-out RBI single in the first to score Vernon
Wells, who doubled.The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the second when
Koronka worked a walk after an error and a single. But Jerry
Hairston hit into a 6-4-3 double play."After I walked the pitcher, I felt bad. I threw a sinker down
and I was able to get out of that inning," Chacin said.Koronka (1-1) allowed six hits and four runs in six innings and
was also pitching at Wrigley for the first time. He said he wasn't
as nervous as he was anxious. And he thought he could get McDonald
at second on the bunt."I heard a couple of yells going to second. I think we had him.
I should have put a little more on it," Koronka said. "But I
wanted to make an accurate throw and it ended up we didn't get him
at first, either."
Eight of Johnson's last 15 hits have been for extra bases.
... It is the second interleague meeting between the teams. Toronto
won two of three at home in 2003. Johnson homered twice in the
series finale that season, won by the Blue Jays 5-4 in 10 innings.
... Derrek Lee, leading the majors with a .385 average coming into
the game, went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.