Chacin bests Chen in battle of lefties

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Gustavo Chacin didn't pitch much better in his first outing of September than he did in six starts last month.

There was one big difference, though. This time, the rookie earned a win for his effort.

Chacin took a three-hitter into the seventh inning and Shea Hillenbrand scored a run and drove in one to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Monday.

Chacin (12-8) gave up one run, four hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings to earn his first win since July 31. The rookie left-hander was 0-3 in that span, even though his ERA rose only slightly, from 3.28 to 3.73.

"I didn't get any wins the last month, but I'm happy with the outings I had," Chacin said. "I pitched some real good games."

Last Wednesday at home against Baltimore, Chacin allowed five runs in seven innings, but Orioles starter Bruce Chen pitched eight scoreless innings.

This time, Chacin got the best of Chen (11-9), who allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

"I feel like I did everything I could to help this team win," Chen said.

Chacin was lifted in the seventh with runners on second and third and one out. Vinnie Chulk gave up a run-scoring grounder to B.J. Surhoff before retiring Chris Gomez on a fly ball to preserve Toronto's 2-1 lead.

The Blue Jays added two runs in the eighth. After Orlando Hudson
hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded, Alex Rios scored from second on a throwing error by right fielder David Newhan, who made a sensational diving catch on a liner by Reed Johnson before attempting to double-up the runner at first. But first baseman Jay Gibbons wasn't there, and the ball rolled into the Baltimore dugout.

Gibbons had gotten in position to take the cutoff throw and couldn't return to first base after Newhan made a surprising catch.

"It was race to get to it, and we just couldn't get to it," Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo said.

Chulk gave up a run in the eighth before Toronto's Eric Hinske
hit an RBI single in a two-run ninth. A second run scored when the relay throw by Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada bounced off the helmet of Rios at third.

"A couple balls off the helmet, going into the dugout, the first baseman's not there, that's awesome for us," Hinske said.

The Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Hillenbrand hit a leadoff single, took third on a ground-rule double by Corey Koskie and scored on a one-out grounder by Rios.

Toronto added a run in the third when Chen issued two walks before yielding a two-out RBI single to Hillenbrand.

That was enough to get a win for Chacin, who came in 0-3 against the Orioles. Chacin yielded a leadoff single to Brian Roberts in
the first, then retired the next 12 batters before Javy Lopez
singled to open the fifth.

Lopez failed to advance, and Roberts was stranded at first base in the sixth after hitting a one-out single.

"[Chacin] has pitched some good games even though he didn't get a decision," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "That's good, that's No. 12. It was a long time coming."

Game notes
Rios, who came in mired in a 4-for-37 skid, went 2-for-4. ... Toronto has one homer in its last 11 games. ... Baltimore right-hander Daniel Cabrera (strained back) will come off the disabled list and start on Tuesday night. ... Despite going 1-for-4, Gibbons is 15-for-39 (.385) in his last nine games. ... Toronto will start
left-handers Ted Lilly and Scott Downs to finish the series, marking the first time the Blue Jays started three straight left-handers
since Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 1990 (Jimmy Key, David Wells and Bud Black).