D’Amico is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four career starts against the Expos. The right-hander beat them 7-3 on Wednesday, limiting Montreal to two earned runs and six hits over six innings.
Suppan allowed three runs and eight hits over seven innings, giving Pittsburgh’s weary bullpen a much-needed break. In addition to playing a doubleheader last week against Montreal, the Pirates had consecutive 15-inning games against Cleveland last weekend.
“We need to rest our bullpen and he certainly came up big for us,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Hopefully, everybody’s cleaned up and they’ll be ready to go.”
Aramis Ramirez had one of the Pirates’ three hits as Pittsburgh lost for only the third time in nine games.
Ramirez has four homers, five doubles and 13 RBIs over his last nine games.
Montreal won for just the third time in its last 11.
Edwards Guzman hit his first home run in nearly two years, giving him hits in 11 of 12 games since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Edmonton on June 7. The third baseman hadn’t homered since Aug. 9, 2001, with San Francisco at Cincinnati.
“He puts the bat on the ball and has an idea up there,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said.
Jose Vidro also drove in a run in his return after taking a rest in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Toronto. Vidro is batting .328—fifth-best in the NL.
STANDINGS: Pirates - 5th place, 9 GB, NL Central. Expos - 2nd place, 7 1/2 GB, NL East.
PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: D’Amico (5-7, 4.50 ERA). With Wednesday’s victory, D’Amico snapped a three-game losing streak during which he had an 8.50 ERA.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomo Ohka (5-7, 5.24 ERA). After going 0-2 with a 13.09 ERA in three starts, Ohka posted a 5-2 victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday. The Japanese right-hander went six innings, allowing an earned run and six hits. It was the first time in 10 starts he didn’t allow a homer. Ohka is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three career starts against the Pirates.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Ramirez, .299 avg., and 43 RBIs; Reggie Sanders, 10 HRs; Kenny Lofton, 45 runs and 14 SBs. Expos - Vidro, .328 avg.; Orlando Cabrera, 11 HRs, 43 RBIs and 50 runs; Endy Chavez, 13 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - C Jason Kendall had his seven-game hitting streak snapped Monday after an 0-for-4 effort. … RHP Duaner Sanchez was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Monday. He was acquired from Arizona last July 6 in a trade for reliever Mike Fetters. … SS Jack Wilson is 4-for-8 career against RHP Ohka. Expos - The Expos have seven shutouts this season after recording only three all of last year. … Five of 2B Vidro’s seven homers have come at home. … Montreal is second in the NL with 51 stolen bases. Florida leads the majors with 88.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 18-19 on the road; Expos - 25-13 at home.
INJURIES: Pirates - 1B Randall Simon (hand), 15-day DL; INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; RHP Mike Lincoln (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL. Expos - 3B Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; OF Vladimir Guerrero (back), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Zach Day (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL.