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AL ROUNDUP

Hernandez zeroes in

Yankees collect 4th straight win

Orlando Hernandez won his fourth straight decision in a remarkable comeback, and the New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-0, yesterday at Yankee Stadium.

Hernandez, who had rotator cuff surgery last year and was released by Montreal in December, allowed five hits in eight innings. He struck out seven and walked two, pitching the Yankees to their fourth victory in a row.

Matched up for the third time with Toronto lefthander Ted Lilly, Hernandez (4-0) kept the Blue Jays off balance with an assortment of pitches and speeds. He allowed just two runners to reach second base, becoming the third consecutive Yankees starter to last eight innings.

El Duque re-signed with New York as a minor league free agent in March, rehabilitated his shoulder in the minors, and was called up July 11 to help an injury-depleted pitching staff. The Yankees have won all six games he has started.

In three outings against Toronto, Hernandez has not allowed a run in 17 innings.

Scott Proctor finished the six-hitter, New York's third shutout of the season. Toronto was blanked for the ninth time.

Twins 4, Athletics 3 -- Johan Santana struck out 10 again, outpitching Tim Hudson in a marquee matchup to lead host Minnesota over Oakland. Santana (11-6) won his fourth straight decision and reached double digits in strikeouts for the eighth time in his last 10 starts, increasing his AL-leading total to 183. Torii Hunter scored twice and drove in another run for the Twins, who have won 14 of 18.

Oakland's Hudson (7-4) pitched well in his first outing since June 22, when he strained an oblique muscle. The righthander allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Indians 6, White Sox 5 -- Matt Lawton hit a three-run homer off Shingo Takatsu in the ninth inning and Cleveland beat host Chicago to take over second place in the Central. Roberto Alomar and Juan Uribe homered in a five-run sixth to give Chicago a 5-3 lead, but Takatsu blew it.

Takatsu (4-3) took over in the ninth and was trying for his 10th save in 10 chances, but Coco Crisp led off with a single and, after a force out, pinch hitter Grady Sizemore also singled.

Lawton then connected for his 18th homer on a 2-and-0 pitch, a long shot over the wall in center as the Indians won for the 11th time in 16 games.

Mariners 5, Devil Rays 2 -- At St. Petersburg, Fla., Ron Villone allowed two runs in six-plus innings and Miguel Olivo hit a three-run homer, leading Seattle over Tampa Bay. Mariners manager Bob Melvin was ejected while exchanging lineup cards before the game. He argued with crew chief Joe West.

Angels 7, Royals 5 -- Bartolo Colon won his sixth straight start and Darin Erstad drove in three runs to lead visiting Anaheim. Colon (11-8) gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out seven for the Angels, who have won six of their last eight.

Orioles 3, Rangers 1 -- At Baltimore, Rodrigo Lopez turned in a solid pitching performance, and the Orioles beat former teammate Scott Erickson and Texas for their fifth straight victory.

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