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Yankees blank Toronto

Chacon gives up 4 hits in 8 innings

Shawn Chacon gave New York's bullpen a much-needed rest.

Chacon pitched eight innings of four-hit ball a day after Randy Johnson's ejection forced New York to use five relievers, and the Yankees won their sixth straight with a 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto yesterday.

''The pressure was totally on Chacon and he handled it really well," manager Joe Torre said.

Bernie Williams drove in the lone run with an single for the Yankees, who remained 1 1/2 games behind the East Division-leading Red Sox.

Chacon (5-3) struck out one, walked one, and tied a career high in innings pitched.

''I knew coming in it was either going to be one of those days where I struggled, and I was going to have to sit out there and eat up innings, or I was going to pitch good," Chacon said.

''I threw strikes and was able to go late in the game. And the defense was outstanding."

Both Chacon and Torre said they had no idea if he would stay in the rotation. Mike Mussina is expected to return from the disabled list and start Thursday, which is Chacon's regular turn to pitch.

''I don't make the decision, so I'm not thinking about it," said Chacon, who helped the Yankees record their league-leading 13th shutout.

Tom Gordon gave up consecutive singles to Frank Catalanotto and Vernon Wells to start the ninth, but he struck out Corey Koskie for the first out and escaped the jam as Shea Hillenbrand grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

Jorge Posada led off the second with a double off Gustavo Chacin, advanced to second on Ruben Sierra's single, and scored on Williams's single to left.

Twins 5, White Sox 0 -- Johan Santana struck out 13 to lead host Minnesota past Chicago, which has lost seven of nine.

Santana walked two and was backed by Justin Morneau, who hit his career-high 20th homer. Michael Cuddyer also homered for the Twins.

Santana yielded only two hits going into the ninth -- Aaron Rowand's bloop single in the fifth and Juan Uribe's double in the eighth. But he loaded the bases in the ninth and was relieved by Joe Nathan, who struck out three for his 38th save.

Indians 5, Royals 4 -- Cliff Lee won his eighth straight decision and Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer as baseball's hottest team beat visiting Kansas City, pushing the Indians within 3 1/2 games of Chicago in the Central Division.

The Indians have won 11 of 12, and in going 22-6 since Aug. 18, they've trimmed 11 1/2 games off a Chicago lead that reached 15 Aug. 1.

Orioles 2, Devil Rays 1 -- Luis Matos drove in Bernie Castro with a one-out single in the bottom of the eighth and Baltimore beat visiting Tampa Bay.

Rangers 7, Mariners 6 -- Hank Blalock's RBI double with one out in the bottom of the ninth lifted host Texas past Seattle.

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