Pavano pitched a four-hitter as the Florida Marlins beat Montreal 9-1 Tuesday night and dropped the Expos to .500 for the first time since April 9.
It was Pavano’s third career complete game and second this season against the Expos, who traded him to Florida on July 11 last season.
“I just look at them as another team. I have a lot of friends over there. But it’s good to get the wins,” Pavano said.
Montreal, just 18-32 following a 32-18 start, hadn’t been at .500 since opening 4-4.
Expos manager Frank Robinson said it would be up to the players to figure out what is wrong with the team.
“They have to find out what’s missing, what they’re not bringing to the ballpark and taking on the field with them—especially on the road. There’s no intensity,” he said. “Their heads weren’t in the game.”
Expos All-Star second baseman Jose Vidro left in the fifth inning because of a strained right knee. He will miss Wednesday’s game against the Mets.
Tomo Ohka (7-10) took a shutout into the sixth but wound up giving up five runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Both benches were warned after Ohka hit Ivan Rodriguez with a pitch in the seventh inning. Pavano had hit Vladimir Guerrero with a pitch in the top of the inning.
“It just got away. I wanted it inside, and if it hit him, it hit him,” Pavano said. “Everyone knows in this league that you’ve got to throw him in. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
Ohka said hitting Rodriguez was an accident, but other Expos players were not so forgiving.
“This guy (Guerrero) has been taken advantage of all year,” Michael Barrett said. “He gets hit and we never retaliate. We just continue to try to win ballgames. We try not to let those things consume you, but I don’t know how long we can let it go. It’s almost as if teams know we’re not going to come back with anything.”
Florida overcame a 1-0 deficit in the sixth when Lee hit a two-run homer following a double by Juan Encarnacion.
“Ohka was pitching good, and I think (the homer) kind of rattled him a little bit, and we got him out of there,” Lee said.
Pavano led off the seventh with a popup, but Montreal’s infielders allowed it to drop for a single. Castillo reached on an infield single, and Ohka hit Rodriguez, loading the bases.
“I don’t know whether they were trying to hit Pudge deliberately or not, but if they did, they made a mistake,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “Because that was the key to that inning.”
Encarnacion singled in a run for a 4-1 lead, and Lee hit a sacrifice fly.
Castillo hit an RBI double in a four-run eighth that also included a run-scoring single by Lowell.
In the second inning, first base umpire Mark Carlson initially ruled Brad Wilkerson avoided the tag when a throw pulled Lee off the first-base bag, thenchanged the call after McKeon argued. Robinson came out to argue, to no avail.
The game was delayed briefly in the second when wind blew open one of the panels in the center-field fence. Malrins CF Juan Pierre pushed the segment back while a member of the grounds crew worked to attach the panel from behindthe wall. Clouds passed without rain falling.