Expos 4, Blue Jays 2

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TORONTO (AP)—Claudio Vargas isn’t pitching like a rookie.

Vargas pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning as the Montreal Expos beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Saturday.

Vargas has allowed three earned runs or less in 11 of his 12 starts since being promoted from the minors on April 24.

“He’s just had solid outings. 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.

Carlos Delgado hit his major league-leading 26th home run for the Blue Jays, who lead the majors in hits and runs.

Vargas (5-3) allowed just two hits until Vernon Wells singled with one out in the seventh. Delgado followed with his homer, cutting Montreal’s lead to 3-2.

The 24-year-old right-hander, facing the Blue Jays for the first time, retired 15 straight before Wells singled.

Frank Catalanotto doubled in the first and Greg Myers doubled in the second for Toronto’s only hits in the first six innings.

Asked if he’s surprised himself, Vargas said no.

“The first couple of outings I was surprised because it was my first time in the big leagues, but I know I can do my job here,” he said. “I know I have the stuff to pitch here. I’ve been working hard. I want to be here a long time.”

Vargas, acquired from Florida in the Cliff Floyd trade last year, allowed four hits, struck out four and walked one in 6 1-3 innings.

“Claudio has been pitching great for us. Since he got called up he’s been having quality starts. Today was just one more,” Montreal’s Wil Cordero said. “He’s not afraid to challenge people.”

Four pitchers finished the five-hitter with Rocky Biddle pitching the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 opportunities.

“You got to give him a lot of credit. We’ve never seen the guy before. He threw the ball really good. The kid had very good control. He had a good fastball,” Delgado said.

Cordero’s RBI single in the second gave Montreal a 1-0 lead in the second.

Joseph Vitiello hit a run-scoring single in the fourth and Toronto starter Doug Davis (4-5) threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the fifth, giving Montreal a 3-0 lead.

Davis allowed three runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Montreal’s Endy Chavez added an insurance run in the ninth with an RBI single off Cliff Politte. Jose Macias led off the ninth with a single, advancedto second on Mike Barrett’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Chavez’s single.


Former major leaguers Joe Carter and Kirk McCaskill were among several inductees into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Carter hit a World Series-winning home run for the Blue Jays in 1993. McCaskill is a native of Kapuskasing, Ontario. … Vargas allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings against Pittsburgh in his last start. … Delgado leads the majors with 88 RBIs. … Toronto DH Josh Phelps hasn’t played since last Wednesday. He’sbeen replaced by Reed Johnson.

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