The Blue Jays have lost just one of their last 10 series—a three-game sweep by the St. Louis Cardinals from June 3-5 at Busch Stadium. During that stretch, Toronto has won six series—including four sweeps—and split two.
Toronto won this series opener 6-5, before falling 4-2 on Saturday. The Blue Jays’ offense, ranked second in the league in runs scored, was shut down on Saturday by Claudio Vargas. The Expos rookie allowed just four hits in 6 1-3 innings.
“We haven’t scored a whole lot of runs for him, but when you shut down this team for six innings you’ve done a great job,” Montreal manager Frank Robinson said.
Hoping to duplicate the effort is starter Tomo Ohka, who has an opportunity to win three straight games for the first time this season. The right-hander is coming off consecutive wins against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing just two earned runs in 12 innings.
Ohka’s top priority will be shutting down Carlos Delgado, who hit his American League-leading 26th homer on Saturday. Delgado has 33 RBIs in June, setting a club record for the most RBIs in a month. In his last six games, the first baseman has four homers and 12 RBIs, giving him a league-leading 86 on the season.
The loss was the Blue Jays’ third in five games.
STANDINGS: Expos - 3rd place, 7 GB, NL East. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 4 1/2 GB, AL East.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Ohka (6-7, 4.97 ERA. In Tuesday’s 6-4 win over the Pirates, Ohka allowed one run and four hits over six innings. In three games against Toronto, including two starts, Ohka is 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Kelvim Escobar (5-4, 4.31 ERA). The right-hander had his three-game winning streak snapped with a 6-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. Escobar allowed six runs on six hits in 5 1-3 innings. In 11 games, including three starts against the Expos, Escobar is 2-2 with a 5.93 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .325 avg.; Orlando Cabrera, 11 HRs, 45 RBIs and 52 runs; Endy Chavez, 14 SBs. Blue Jays - Vernon Wells, .311 avg.; Delgado, 256 HRs, 88 RBIs and 68 runs; Orlando Hudson, 4 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Expos - 8-9. Blue Jays - 10-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - RHP Ohka is 2-4 on the road with a 6.90 ERA. … Right-handers have started 198 straight games for the Expos. The last left-hander to make a start for Montreal was Bruce Chen on May 19, 2002, and the last left-handed starter to get a win was Matt Blank on June 21, 2001. … SS Cabrera is batting .325 (13-for-40) during a 10-game hitting streak. Blue Jays - DH Josh Phelps has missed three straight games to make room for OF Reed Johnson, who is hitting .326 with six home runs and 20 RBIs. …. SS Chris Woodward missed Saturday’s game with a bruised left thumb. … OF Vernon Wells is 4-for-7 with a homer against Ohka.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 18-22 on the road; Blue Jays - 22-18 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - SS Woodward (thumb), day-to-day; RHP Luis Ayala (shoulder), 15-day DL; 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. Blue Jays - RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder), 60-day DL.