Expos 9, Blue Jays 4
TORONTO (AP)—Tony Batista played his best game of the year in what might been Montreal’s last game in Toronto.
Batista homered and tied a career high with five RBIs against his former team, leading the Expos to a 9-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Expos are expected to move after this season, although major league baseball is pushing back its decision on where to relocate them until after the All-Star break.
The two teams don’t meet again in Canada this season, though they play each other in Puerto Rico next weekend.
Batista entered the game in a 9-for-79 slump.
“I knew it was going to come,” said Batista, who went 3-for-5, raising his average to .217. “By the end of the season the numbers are going to be right there.”
Brad Wilkerson also homered for the Expos, who salvaged the last game of the three-game series. Montreal (25-48) has the worst record in the majors.
“We don’t know anything about where we are going to go. We’re just waiting,” Batista said.
Staked to an 8-0 lead in the second, Livan Hernandez (5-7) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Toronto starter Pat Hentgen (2-8) has lost a career-high six straight decisions. Hentgen allowed six runs on three hits and five walks in a season-low 1 2-3 innings—raising his ERA to 6.42.
“I pitched poorly,” Hentgen said. “I didn’t keep us in the game.”
Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said the team won’t move Hentgen to the bullpen.
“He’s going to have to pick up some arm speed and some velocity, either that or really be able to locate his pitches,” Tosca said. “He just doesn’t have any command of his pitches right now.”
The 35-year-old right-hander, who hasn’t won since May 10 at Kansas City, walked four of his first five batters.
Montreal scored five runs in the second, when Wilkerson hit a two-run homer off Hentgen, and Batista a three-run shot off Micheal Nakamura.
Toronto’s Reed Johnson hit an RBI single in the third, but Nick Johnson had a run-scoring groundout in the fourth.
Alex Rios’ RBI double and Orlando Hudson’s two-run double cut Montreal’slead to 9-4.
Vidro extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the fourth. … The Blue Jays are missing their top three hitters: first baseman Carlos Delgado, center fielder Vernon Wells and left fielder Frank Catalanotto…. The Expos lost their previous five road games. … Attendance was 25,915.