Tomo Ohka pitched a two-hitter in his last start. It still wasn’t good enough for him.
The 27-year-old right-hander has won three straight starts, allowing just two earned runs in 21 innings over that span. On Sunday, he was at his best, holding the Toronto Blue Jays to just two hits in a 10-2 rout.
Only don’t tell him that.
“I’m not satisfied with the outing,” Ohka said through an interpreter. “I would have been very happy if I had a no-hitter.”
Montreal manager Frank Robinson was more than satisfied.
“He had as dominating a performance as you’re going to see. It’s too bad he didn’t complete it,” Robinson said. “I’ve seen him pitch outstanding games, but this was just a tremendous performance. He was just in complete control.”
Ohka will now try to help the Expos extend their winning streak to three games.
The win moved the third-place Expos within six games of the NL East-leading Braves. They also trail the second-place Philadelphia Phillies by 1 1/2 games.
The Braves, who fell to 16-19 against division opponents this season, have lost three of four and six of nine. They have also dropped four of their last six series.
STANDINGS: Expos - 3rd place, 6 GB, NL East. Braves - 1st place, NL East.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Ohka (7-7, 4.48 ERA). In seven career games against the Braves, Ohka is 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Russ Ortiz (10-4, 3.37 ERA). Ortiz has won three straight starts and nine of his last 11 decisions. On Sunday, he held the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to three hits over 7 2-3 innings in a 2-0 win. The 29-year-old right-hander is 4-5 with 3.75 ERA in nine career games against the Expos.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .324 avg.; Orlando Cabrera, 11 HRs, 46 RBIs and 53 runs; Chavez, 14 SBs. Braves - Gary Sheffield, .327 avg. and 68 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 23 HRs; Rafael Furcal, 67 runs and 14 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Expos, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - 2B Vidro is batting .367 (11-for-30) with three RBIs in his career against RHP Ortiz. … Montreal placed RHP Dan Smith on the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed rotator cuff. … RF Vladimir Guerrero, on the 15-day DL since June 5 with a herniated disc in his lower back, is receiving treatment at the University of Miami. He hopes to return after the All-Star break. Braves - CF Andruw Jones is 9-for-18 with three homers in his career against RHP Ohka. … RF Sheffield is batting .275 (39-for-142) at home compared to .375 (57-for-152) on the road. … Atlanta is 35-11 when SS Furcal scores a run.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 21-24 on the road; Braves - 27-13 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - INF Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; OF Guerrero (back), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Luis Ayala (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Zach Day (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Smith (shoulder), 15-day DL. Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL.