El Duque wins fourth straight as Yankees down Blue Jays


Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez won his fourth straight decision in a remarkable comeback, and the New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0 on Saturday.

El Duque (4-0), who had rotator cuff surgery last year and was released by Montreal in December, allowed five hits in eight sharp innings. He struck out six and walked two, pitching the Yankees (70-39) to their fourth victory in a row.

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.

Ted Lilly (8-8) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. Twins 4, Athletics 3 In Minneapolis, Johan Santana struck out 10 again for Minnesota, outpitching Tim Hudson in a marquee matchup.

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.

Hudson (7-4) pitched well in his return to the mound for Oakland, which lost for just the fourth time in 14 games.

Activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, the right-hander allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked one in his first outing since June 22, when he strained his left oblique muscle. Orioles 3, Rangers 1 In Baltimore, Rodrigo Lopez turned in a solid pitching performance, and the Orioles beat former teammate Scott Erickson and the Texas Rangers for their fifth straight victory.

Lopez (9-7) allowed only two hits, walked none and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings. He faced only one batter over the minimum and retired his first 10 hitters, six by strikeouts.

B.J. Ryan gave up one hit in 1 1-3 innings, and Jorge Julio worked the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances. He gave up a home run to Alfonso Soriano with one out.

Erickson (0-1) yielded three runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings in his debut with Texas. The right-hander, obtained in a trade with the New York Mets last week, was with the Orioles from 1995 through last season. Mariners 5, Devil Rays 2 In St. Petersburg, Florida, 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, one night after Seattle lost on a disputed obstruction call in the 10th inning.

Villone (4-2) gave up four hits for Seattle, which is 3-10 on a 14 game road trip. Two of the wins have come in the past three games against Tampa Bay.

J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his first career save.

Aubrey Huff hit his 20th homer of the season for the Devil Rays. Mark Hendrickson (8-10) gave up five runs and 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings. Red Sox 7, Tigers 4 In Detroit, Pedro Martinez struck out 11 for the second straight start and David Ortiz drove in two runs in his first game since serving a five-game suspension for the Red Sox.

It was Martinez’s 69th game with 10 or more strikeouts with Boston, breaking the team record he shared with Roger Clemens. He allowed two runs — one earned — and five singles in seven innings.

Martinez (12-4) struck out the first five he faced, and seven through three innings, in helping the Red Sox end a two-game losing streak. He improved to 5-0 in nine career starts against the Tigers.

Jeremy Bonderman (6-9) dropped to 0-3 in his last five starts, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings. The loss was Detroit’s fifth in six games. Indians 6, White Sox 5 In Chicago, Matt Lawton hit a three-run homer off Shingo Takatsu in the ninth inning to vault the Indians into second place in the AL Central.

Takatsu (4-3) blew his first save of the season, allowing singles by Coco Crisp and Grady Sizemore before Lawton’s go-ahead shot.

Roberto Alomar and Juan Uribe homered in a five-run sixth to give Chicago a 5-3 lead.

The Indians won for the 11th time in 16 games, while the stunned White Sox lost for the 11th time in 13 games.

Matt Miller (4-1) got the win with a scoreless eighth. Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his fourth save. Angels 7, Royals 5 In Kansas City, Missouri, Bartolo Colon won his sixth straight start and Darin Erstad drove in three runs to lead 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 to move within 1 1/2 games of first-place Oakland and a half-game of second-place Texas in the AL West.

Troy Percival pitched out of a jam in the ninth for his 20th save in 25 chances, making him the sixth pitcher with nine straight seasons of 20 or more saves.

Erstad was 2-for-4, including a two-run double in the seventh that gave the Angels the lead for good.

Dennys Reyes (3-5) walked three and allowed three runs in 1 2-3 innings in the loss.