Expos 3, Phillies 1

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Javier Vazquez got reacquainted with his fastball and returned to the win column for the Montreal Expos.

Vazquez scattered nine hits for his 13th career complete game as the Expos beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 on Friday night.

Vazquez (7-6) struck out seven and walked none to snap a personal three-game losing streak with his first win since June 10.

“I kind of forgot how to win there for a little bit,” Vazquez said. “Sometimes I go away from throwing my fastball. Sometimes I don’t trust it like I should.”

Montreal manager Frank Robinson said Vazquez looked like the pitcher who won three of his first four decisions to start the season.

“It was a little bit of a throwback game for him,” Robinson said. “He went exclusively with his fastball for the first three innings and then started to mix in his other pitches from there.”

It was the first time this season the right-hander pitched more than seven innings, and it was his first complete game since June 5, 2002.

“We needed a complete game from Javier—that was huge,” catcher Michael Barrett said. “The key to his game was his ability to throw to the inside arm of the hitters. He stayed in the zone the whole game.”

Vazquez had impeccable control throughout as he ran just two three-ball counts, both in the ninth to Jim Thome and Bobby Abreu. He finished with 118 pitches, including 83 for strikes.

Robinson had complete confidence in Vazquez to finish even after he had to run the bases in the top half of the inning. Vazquez drew the only walk of the game and scored on Jose Vidro’s double.

“I wasn’t even thinking about it,” Robinson said. “Vazquez put together an excellent effort.”

Phillies manager Larry Bowa wasn’t surprised Vazquez pitched so well.

“He’s a good pitcher, one of the best in the league,” Bowa said.

Barrett hit a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth and Vidro had three hits for the Expos, who won for just the second time in seven games.

Abreu had three hits, including a home run, for the Phillies.

The Expos made outstanding defensive plays in the sixth and seventh innings to keep the Phillies from scoring the tying run.

After Marlon Byrd hit a leadoff double, Placido Polanco popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt. Vazquez caught it quickly and made the throw all in one motion to double off Byrd at second base.

The play appeared to sap the momentum from the Phillies.

“(Polanco) was on his own,” Bowa said. “Whatever he felt more comfortable to do. He thought he could get the bunt down. Byrd was just trying to be aggressive. You can’t fault that.”

In the seventh, left fielder Brad Wilkerson, just inserted by Robinson as a defensive replacement for Joe Vitiello, threw out Mike Lieberthal at the plate to end the inning.

“That’s why he put me in there,” Wilkerson said. “I got a good high hop to throw it on and I thought I had a good shot at getting him at the plate.”

Montreal got three straight hits to take a 2-1 lead in the sixth off Randy Wolf (10-5). Barrett broke the tie with a sharp liner into the left-field corner for an RBI double.

Montreal took a 1-0 lead in the first on Orlando Cabrera’s RBI double.

The Phillies tied it in the fourth on Abreu’s 15th homer—a solo shot to right-center field.

Wolf, the Phillies’ lone representative in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, allowed two runs and nine hits in six innings. He struck out eight, all in the first four innings, and didn’t walk a batter.

“The way Vazquez was pitching, I knew it would be impossible for us to win if I didn’t hold them,” Wolf said. “I pitched well, but Vazquez pitchedgreat.


Cabrera extended his hitting streak to a team season-high 13 games, while Vidro has hit safely in 11 straight. … Abreu has 67 career homers at Veterans Stadium, tying him with Darren Daulton for fifth place on the Phillies’ career list. Mike Schmidt is first with 265. … Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins missed the game with a strained hamstring. He is day to day. … Vazquez is 9-4 against Philadelphia. … Terry Adams worked two perfect relief innings for the Phillies. He has allowed just one run in his last 15 innings pitched. … Vitiello, 2-for-3, had his fifth straight multihit game and ishitting .600 (12-for-20) this season.

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