Blue Jays 3, Expos 1

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TORONTO (AP)—A players-only meeting before the game helped the Toronto Blue Jays bounce back from one of their worst losses of the season.

Josh Towers allowed one run in seven-plus innings and Reed Johnson had two RBIs, leading the Blue Jays to a 3-1 win over the Montreal Expos on Friday night.

Injured slugger Carlos Delgado and veteran catcher Gregg Zaun called the meeting a day after Toronto’s pitchers were rocked in a 19-13 loss to Tampa Bay.

“It was about knowing that we have a lot of season left, and that we should have some pride in the way we play,” Johnson said. “It was about playing hard like we did tonight. Hopefully, when we get some guys back we can be on the other end of some lopsided victories.”

Vernon Wells and Frank Catalanotto are also sidelined with injuries for the Blue Jays (32-41).

Towers (2-2) allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one. Towers knew he needed to pitch deep into the game after Toronto used six pitchers Thursday.

“It was nice to save some arms,” Towers said.

Towers cleaned out his apartment in Syracuse late Thursday night. The Blue Jays have their Triple-A team there and Towers might not return there if he keeps pitching the way he has. He allowed one run in seven innings in his last start.

“He’s certainly making a case for himself,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.

Towers left after Brad Wilkerson led off the eighth with a walk. Wilkerson scored on Orlando Cabrera’s RBI single off Vinnie Chulk with two outs.

Jason Frasor pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances for Toronto.

Montreal might be playing its last series in Toronto, although major league baseball is pushing back its decision on where to relocate the Expos until after the All-Star break.

“It’s frustrating the way things have been going, but we have to keep our heads up,” said starter Zach Day, whose team has the worst record in the majors (24-47).

Day (5-8) loaded the bases in the first by walking two batters and hitting another with a pitch, but escaped the jam when Chris Gomez grounded out.

Toronto scored twice in the fifth after loading the bases. After Dave Berg doubled, Howie Clark walked and Orlando Hudson singled, Johnson followed with an RBI single. Eric Hinske followed with a run-scoring grounder.

Berg singled in the seventh and scored on Johnson’s RBI double to make it 3-0.

Day allowed three runs on eight his in 6 1-3 innings.

Notes

The Canadian rivals split their season series 3-3 last season. … Montreal’s Carl Everett returned to the lineup after missing four games with astrained left hamstring. Everett was the DH and went 1-for-4.

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