Mike Maroth is making the most of a new year.

Maroth won again, pitching eight sharp innings and leading the Tigers over the Oakland Athletics, 3-1, yesterday in Detroit.

Maroth (4-1) was 9-21 last season and did not post his fourth victory until July 5.

"We've come a long way," said Maroth. "I think I've done a good job of learning how to pitch."

Maroth ended the Athletics' season-high three-game winning streak, allowing one run and five hits. He walked one and struck out four.

In his last outing, Maroth blew a 10-run lead in a 16-15 loss to Texas.

"I think Mike has handled himself extremely well, and I've said that many times," Tigers Manager Alan Trammell said. "This is just another example of that.

"I know he was disappointed after Saturday -- we all were -- but he rebounded very nicely."

Even the pitcher Maroth outdueled praised him.

"It's great to see Mike doing this," former Tiger Mark Redman said. "His season last year was like my season here in 2002, and things got better for both of us. I'm glad to see he kept his head up and kept battling."

* BLUE JAYS 12, RED SOX 6: Orlando Hudson tied a franchise record with five runs scored, and Miguel Batista earned his first win with his new team as Toronto beat Curt Schilling and Boston.

Hudson, Toronto's new leadoff hitter, went 4 for 4 with a walk for the Blue Jays, who have won six straight at SkyDome after starting the season 1-9 at home.

Toronto's Frank Catalanotto went 4 for 5 and tied a career high with four RBI.

Batista (1-3) won for the first time in eight starts, allowing five runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two in 61/3 innings.

Schilling (4-3), Batista's former teammate in Arizona, pitched a season-low five innings, allowing three runs and eight hits.

* YANKEES 7, ANGELS 4: Jon Lieber pretty much dominated the top-scoring team in the major leagues, looking completely recovered from the elbow operation that caused him to miss last season.

Lieber retired his first 11 batters, then gave up four straight hits before getting 11 more outs in a row, leading New York at Yankee Stadium.

Ruben Sierra, Hideki Matsui and Bernie Williams hit solo homers off John Lackey, with Williams getting his first three-hit game of the season.

* TWINS 1, MARINERS 0: Johan Santana allowed six hits over seven innings, and Minnesota completed its first home sweep of Seattle in 12 years.

Michael Cuddyer hit an RBI double in the second inning, and Santana (2-0) got some help from center fielder Torii Hunter to preserve the shutout.

* DEVIL RAYS 6, RANGERS 3: Carl Crawford snapped a sixth-inning tie with an RBI single and had three hits, and Tampa Bay, at home, ended a season-high seven-game losing streak.

Mark Hendrickson (2-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings as the Devil Rays, the only team in the majors that has yet to win consecutive games, won for just the third time in 17 games.

Michael Young had a solo homer and an RBI single for the Rangers, finishing 3 for 5 for his major league-leading 20th multi-hit game. He also leads the majors with 56 hits.