MILWAUKEE (AP)—Montreal manager Frank Robinson couldn’t recall seeing anything like Zach Day’s pitching performance Thursday.
The rookie right-hander threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout, not allowing Milwaukee to get a ball out of the infield until the seventh inning, as the Expos completed a three-game sweep with a 5-0 victory over the Brewers on Thursday.
Of the 31 batters who faced Day, only two got the ball to the outfield. John Vander Wal flied out to left in the seventh and Keith Ginter singled to left in the ninth. Day recorded 21 groundball outs and five strikeouts.
Day came into the game getting nearly four groundball outs to every flyball out, tops in the majors, but Robinson said he did not recall a pitcher having such a good ratio in a single game.
“He didn’t give up anything,” said Robinson, a Hall of Fame player who broke into the majors with Cincinnati in 1956. “It was a dominating performance on his part. That’s the only word I can put in there. He was in complete control of the game from start to finish.”
The only hits off Day (3-1) were infield singles by pitcher Wayne Franklin in the third and Royce Clayton in the eighth, and Ginter’s single. Day struck out five, walked one and faced only four batters above the minimum in his eighth career start.
“As a sinker ball pitcher, that is one of the games you dream about,” Day said.
The only runner to get past first for Milwaukee was Richie Sexson, who reached on Day’s fielding error in the seventh and moved to second on a groundout. Day then got Vander Wal to end the inning with a fly out to left field.
“He has a power sinker,” Ginter said. “It starts down the middle and ends up at your knuckles. It’s more side-to-side than downward. And he mixes in a good, four-seamer to keep you off-balance.”
Michael Barrett and Brad Wilkerson each hit solo home runs for Montreal, which has won six of seven and is eight games over .500 for the first time since being 25-17 on May 23, 2000. Milwaukee (9-19) has the worst record in the National League and has lost eight of nine.
“Streaks like this happen,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “The way to get out of it is to continue to fight and continue to battle.”
Franklin (1-3) had given up only three earned runs in his past 13 innings, but gave up three runs in the first two innings on Orlando Cabrera’s two-run single in the first and Barrett’s solo home run in the second.
Franklin gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out a career-high six in six innings, and has a 6.31 ERA.
Henry Mateo led the game off with a bunt single but was erased on Jose Macias’ fielder’s choice. Vladimir Guerrero followed with a double, moving Macias to third. Both runners scored on Cabrera’s single to right for a 2-0 lead.
Barrett led off the second with his third home run of the season to give Montreal a 3-0 lead. Wilkerson hit his fourth homer of the season in thefourth, and Macias’ single scored Mateo in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.
Montreal leads the majors with six shutouts this season. … After the game, the Brewers recalled RHP Ruben Quevedo from Triple-A Indianapolis of the International League, and optioned RHP Shane Nance to Indianapolis. Quevedo will start for the Brewers Saturday against the New York Mets. … Brewers 2B Eric Young missed his third consecutive game with a strained hip flexor. He is day to day. … Robinson gave his first two hitters, CF Endy Chavez and 2B Jose Vidro, the day off. … The Expos improved to 6-2 against left-handed starters this year. … Expos RHP Orlando Hernandez will make his second rehab startSaturday for Class-A Brevard County of the Florida State League.