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Blue Jays' Halladay wins the AL Cy Young Award
NEW YORK -- Toronto's Roy Halladay won the American League Cy Young Award on Tuesday, easily beating Chicago's Esteban Loaiza.
Halladay, who won a major league-high 22 games, received 26 first-place votes and two seconds for 136 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Loaiza, who went to spring training with a minor league contract, got two firsts, 16 seconds and five thirds for 63 points.
Boston's Pedro Martinez was third with 20 points, followed by Oakland's Tim Hudson (15), Seattle's Jamie Moyer (12), the Yankees' Andy Pettitte (four) and Oakland's Keith Foulke and Minnesota's Johan Santana (one each).
Halladay, a 26-year-old right-hander, had never won more than eight games in a season before he went 19-7 in 2002.
He finished 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA this year, winning 15 consecutive decisions from May 1 to July 27 and tying for the AL lead with nine complete games.
"It was an unbelievable ride for me," Halladay said. "There were some games in there where I got a lot of help from my teammates."
Halladay's wins came in his last 30 starts. He was 0-2 in his first six.
"When I started pitching better, we started playing better all together," Halladay said from Hawaii during a conference call. "They started scoring runs and helping me get comfortable."
His 1-0, 10-inning win over Detroit on Sept. 7 was the first extra-inning shutout in the major leagues since Jack Morris led Minnesota over Atlanta in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
Loaiza went 21-9 with a 2.90 ERA and a league-high 207 strikeouts. He got the first-place votes of both Chicago voters, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald and Doug Padilla of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Martinez, a three-time Cy Young winner, was 14-4 with a major league-leading 2.22 ERA.
Toronto pitchers have won the award in four of the last eight seasons, with Halladay following Pat Hentgen (1996) and Roger Clemens (1997 and 1998).
Halladay gets a $100,000 bonus for winning, Loaiza gets $90,000 for finishing second and Martinez $500,000 for finishing third.