Wolf homered, hit an RBI double and pitched a four-hitter for his seventh career shutout, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the punchless Expos 7-0 Saturday.
Asked to choose whether he felt better about his performance in the batter’s box or his 109-pitch effort, Wolf stuck with what he does best.
“Always the pitching,” said Wolf, who struck out three and walked one. “That’s what I’m paid to do. It’s nice to get lucky at the plate once in a while but it’s nice to really pitch well.”
Montreal, off to a franchise-worst start at 4-14, was shut out for the fifth time and has scored two runs or fewer in 13 games.
“It seems like everybody pitches a good game against us,” said Jose Vidro, who had two of Montreal’s four singles off Wolf.
The Expos have 32 runs, the fourth-lowest total through 18 games in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, ahead of only the 1907 Brooklyn Superbas (20), the 1909 Washington Senators (28) and the 1966 Kansas City Athletics (31).
“I’ve never seen a run like this,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “We go through ballgames where we don’t hit the ball hard. And I’m not saying we only hit the ball hard once or twice, what I’m talking about is our outs are not hit hard, and I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The game drew just 6,899 despite a kids’ opening day promotion. On Friday night, the Expos drew 30,112, the smallest crowd for an Olympic Stadium opener since 1985.
Marlon Byrd had three hits for the Phillies, who had a season-high 17. Philadelphia won its second straight after being swept at home by Florida In a three-game series. The Phillies have won six of nine after a 1-6 start.
“We needed that,” Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. “Not only for our team, but for our bullpen. Byrd is starting to swing a little bit. It makes a lot of difference when you get people on at the top. Everybody’s chipping in and that’s what you have to do.”
Tomo Ohka (0-4) allowed five runs—four earned—and 13 hits in six innings.
Byrd doubled to begin the game and hit an RBI single in a three-run second. He also singled in the sixth before scoring Philadelphia’s fifth run on Ricky Ledee’s two-out double.
Wolf was perfect in the second, third and fourth innings, then got out of the fifth with a double play when Luis Lopez grounded to third.
Rollins hit another RBI single in the third.
Byrd, who pitched two complete games last season—both shutouts—also was the previous Phillies’ pitcher to homer. He hit his first career home run at Milwaukee on Aug. 22, 2002. … The Expos were shut out eight times last season. … Montreal’s previous worst start through 18 games was 5-13 in 1970,1991 and 1998.