TORONTO (AP) – Gustavo Chacin won his fifth straight start, Vernon Wells homered during the four-run third inning and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Chacin (11-5) went 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA in six July starts to become the first Blue Jays rookie to win five games in a month. The 24-year-old left-hander gave up one run – none earned – and four hits, while tying a career high with six strikeouts and walking four in 6 1-3 innings. His 3.28 ERA is among the top 10 in the AL.

Chacin leads all AL rookies in wins, ERA and innings pitched.

Newly acquired Phil Nevin went 0-for-4 as the designated hitter for the Rangers, who saw their four-game winning streak end. Texas acquired Nevin from San Diego in a trade for Chan Ho Park on Friday.

The Blue Jays scored four runs in the third with two outs. Aaron Hill singled off Texas starter C.J. Wilson (0-3) before Wells homered off the screen attached to the left-field foul pole, his team-high 21st of the season. After Shea Hillenbrand and Corey Koskie hit consecutive singles, Gregg Zaun and Alex Rios hit RBI singles to give Toronto a 4-0 lead.

Wilson, recalled from Double-A Frisco to make the start, allowed four runs on eight hits in eight innings.

The Rangers scored their lone run in the fourth after a throwing error by Chacin.

Alfonso Soriano singled and advanced to second on Chacin’s bad throw to shortstop Russ Adams at second base. Chachin’s throw took Adams off the bag, but TV replayed showed he got back on it before Soriano reached second.

Richard Hidalgo later followed with an RBI single.

Reed Johnson homered off James Baldwin in the seventh, giving Toronto a 5-1 lead.

Notes: Toronto ace Roy Halladay is expected to return to the mound next Sunday, less than a month after breaking a bone in his left leg. After doing some mobility drills this weekend, it was decided that Halladay wasn’t ready to pitch early next week. He had hoped to pitch Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, but is now scheduled to return next Sunday against the New York Yankees. … To make room for Wilson, the Rangers optioned 1B Adrian Gonzalez to Triple-A Oklahoma. Gonzalez hit .229 with three home runs and six RBIs in 13 games. … As part Sunday’s Dog Days of Summer promotion, 277 dogs attended with their owners at the Rogers Centre.

AP-ES-07-31-05 1602EDT


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