TORONTO (AP)—Gustavo Chacin would love to win the AL Rookie of the Year award.
Chacin extended his team record for rookies with his 13th win, and Eric Hinske homered and drove in three runs as the Toronto Blue Jays ended the season with a 7-2 victory over the woeful Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Chacin (13-9) led all AL rookies in wins, innings pitched (203) and finished third in ERA (3.72). The 24-year-old left-hander allowed two runs—one earned — and seven hits while striking out three and walking one in 7 2-3 innings.
“I know I have a chance,” Chacin said. “It would be great. It would be an honor for me to win Rookie of the Year.”
Chacin would become the third Venezuelan to earn the honor. He was aware that Ozzie Guillen and Luis Aparicio won the award.
Had Chacin not finished with only two wins in his last 12 starts he might have been considered the favorite.
“He should be strongly considered, 13 wins, 200-plus innings,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “I’d vote for him.”
John-Ford Griffin hit his first major league homer for the Blue Jays, who finished 80-82—the third losing season in general manager J.P. Ricciardi’s four-year tenure.
Ricciardi has around $160 million to allocate for payroll in the next two seasons.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens,” Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells said. “J.P. is going to go out and hopefully make some good decisions.”
Emil Brown homered for the Royals, who finished 50 games below .500, a major league-worst 56-106. Kansas City set a team record for losses on Friday night. They went 58-104 last year and have three 100-loss seasons in the last four years.
“The fate of our season was decided a long time ago,” Aaron Guiel said. “We’re a young, rebuilding team. It’s important that we correct our mistakes going into next season so we have something to look forward to.”
Toronto’s Frank Catalanotto went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, raising his average to .301. He drove in 15 runs in the last six games.
Catalanotto hit an RBI single in the first, Hinske a run-scoring single in the third and Toronto scored four times in the fifth off starter Runelvys Hernandez (8-14) on Catalanotto’s RBI’s triple, Wells’ run-scoring single and Hinske’s two-run homer.
Hinske finished with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs, the third straight disappointing season for the 2002 AL Rookie of the Year.
Hernandez allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings. The struggling right-hander went 0-5 in his last nine starts, allowing 30 runs in 29 1-3 innings.
Kansas City 1B Mike Sweeney didn’t play a day after going 2-for-4, raising his average to .300. … Ted Rogers, the president of Rogers Communications, which owns the Blue Jays, sat near the dugout. … The Blue Jays had a season attendance of 2,014,995, the first time since 1999 they’ve drawn 2 million.