Javier Vazquez has been feeling good on the mound lately.
Vazquez has won five of his last seven starts, pitching three complete games in that span. He was at his best on Monday, tossing a three-hitter in a 4-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.
It was his sixth career shutout, and first since Aug. 28, 2001.
“It feels great,” Vazquez said. “It’s one of those days that I felt great in the ‘pen before the game, and in the game too.”
The Expos will look for Vazquez to deliver another strong performance as they try to snap a three-game losing streak.
After dropping two straight to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal fell to San Diego 5-3 in Friday’s series opener. With the loss, the Expos dropped five games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL wild-card race.
San Diego center fielder Mark Kotsay hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning Friday, helping the Padres overcome a three-run deficit to win for the third time in four games.
STANDINGS: Expos - 4th place, 16 1/2 GB, NL East. Padres - 5th place, 28 GB, NL West.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Vazquez (11-8, 3.44 ERA). Vazquez is 1-3 with a 3.62 ERA in nine career games against the Padres.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Adam Eaton (7-9, 4.41 ERA). Eaton has lost two of his last three starts and was dreadful in an 11-7 loss to the Florida Marlins on Sunday. Lasting just 3 1-3 innings, he gave up four runs and seven hits while walking three. The 25-year-old right-hander has never faced the Expos.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .320 avg.; Orlando Cabrera and Vladimir Guerrero, 17 HRs; Cabrera, 68 RBIs, 80 runs and 20 SBs. Padres - Mark Loretta, .317 avg. and 58 runs; Ryan Klesko, 20 HRs; Rondell White, 65 RBIs; Ramon Vazquez, 10 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Expos, 3-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - The Expos have lost 17 of their last 21 road games. … RF Guerrero is 8-for-16 in his last four games. … The Expos have lost their last seven road series. Padres - 1B Klesko is batting .130 (3-for-23) in his career against RHP Javier Vazquez. … RHP Trevor Hoffman, returning from a right shoulder injury, will begin a rehabilitation assignment on Saturday in the first of two appearances with Class A Lake Elsinore. … 2B Loretta is batting .091 (2-for-22) in his last five games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 24-40 on the road; Padres - 27-37 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - C Michael Barrett (hip), 15-day DL; INF Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Scott Stewart (appendicitis), 15-day DL; RHP Claudio Vargas (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 60-day DL. Padres - INF Keith Lockhart (back), 15-day DL; OF Jason Bay (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL.
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