TORONTO – Gustavo Chacin pitched eight scoreless innings and Shea Hillenbrand homered and had four RBIs to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to an 8-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

Hillenbrand had three hits for the Blue Jays, who moved one game over .500 (50-49).

Toronto third baseman Corey Koskie went 1-for-4 with a walk in his first game since breaking a thumb on May 19. The Blue Jays also announced that ace Roy Halladay could return as early as next week after being sidelined since July 8 when he was hit with a line drive that broke a bone in his left leg.

Chacin (10-5), pitching against the Angels for the first time in his career, and Miguel Batista combined on the seven-hitter. The Angels have been shut out five times this season.

Staked to a 7-0 lead in the fourth, Chacin allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one. The 24-year-left-hander with the funky delivery has won four straight starts.

Los Angeles’ Vladimir Guerrero, who entered the game in a 14-for-80 (.175) slump in July, went 2-for-4. The 2004 AL MVP’s worst career month for average is .308.

Angels starter Paul Byrd (9-7) allowed a season-high seven runs and 10 hits in three-plus innings.

Byrd walked the first batter he faced, Russ Adams, before Frank Catalanotto singled. One batter later, Hillenbrand homered over the left field wall.

Toronto scored four runs in the fourth. Eric Hinske led off with a single and scored on Alex Rios’ RBI double. After Orlando Hudson followed with a run-scoring double, Adams chased Byrd with an RBI single.

Hillenbrand added an RBI single off Kevin Gregg to make it 7-0.

Toronto’s Vernon Wells hit his 20th home run, a solo shot off Joel Peralta in the eighth.

Notes: Toronto manager John Gibbons said rookie third baseman Aaron Hill and first baseman Hinske will continue to get at-bats despite the return of Koskie. Hill hit .306 as Koskie’s replacement, and the Blue Jays say they are going to make room for him although he didn’t start Tuesday’s game. Hillenbrand played first, while Hinske was the DH. Hill is in a 1-for-26 slump. … The Angels played the first game of a six-game trip to Toronto and New York.

AP-ES-07-26-05 2142EDT


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