Expos 6, Blue Jays 4

Preview | Box Score | Recap

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—Shawn Hill expects to be picking up the dinner tab for Claudio Vargas sometime soon.

It would only be fair after Vargas bailed him out of a bases-loaded jam to help Hill get his first major league win.

Hill (1-1) pitched five strong innings to lead the Montreal Expos to a 6-4 win Sunday over the Toronto Blue Jays in his second big league start.

He struck out six and allowed one run on six hits in five-plus innings, but was relieved by Vargas in the sixth after loading the bases on a double by Frank Menechino, a walk to Orlando Hudson and a single by Reed Johnson.

Vargas struck out Eric Hinske, forced Chris Gomez to fly out, and struck out Alex Rios to end the threat. He struck out six of the nine batters he faced.

“He got me out of that,” Hill said. “I might owe him. The whole team might owe him something for that.”

Hill said he tired after retiring 10 of the first 12 batters he faced.

“I still wasn’t overly happy on how I threw altogether, but I was happy,” he said.

Joe Horgan struck out Johson with the bases loaded for for his first career save after the Blue Jays scored three runs in the ninth off Chad Cordero.

Cordero allowed RBI singles to Dave Berg and pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun, and walked Hudson with the bases loaded in the ninth, which began after a 24-minute rain delay and was played under a constant downpour.

“Feels pretty good,” Horgan said. “The only problem I had was keeping my hand dry.”

Tony Batista and Carl Everett each drove in two runs for Montreal.

The Expos broke open the game in the sixth on Orlando Cabrera’s RBI single and Batista’s two-run double.

Nick Johnson walked against Justin Speier and Vargas advanced him with a sacrifice bunt. Brad Wilkerson was intentionally walked before Cabrera’s single.

Jose Vidro welcomed reliever Terry Adams with a single that loaded the bases for Batista’s double, and Everett followed with an RBI single.

“We’re starting to pick it up a little, and Batista seems to be in the middle of it quite often lately,” manager Frank Robinson said.

Toronto tied it in the fifth on Berg’s sacrifice fly, but the Expos regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Cabrera reached first on a fielding error by third baseman Hinske and later scored on Everett’s single.

Wilkerson doubled against Ted Lilly (7-5) in the third, scoring on Vidro’s RBI single. Lilly pitched five innings giving up three runs—two earned—on seven hits and striking out seven.

“This is a tough place to hit,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “In the sixth we had bases loaded with no outs, but we couldn’t get the ball out ofthe infield and then we gave up the big rally.”


Hinske struck out in his third at-bat, ending his streak of consecutive hits at six. … There were two rain delays, a six-minute delay in the bottom of the fourth and the 24-minute delay in the top of the ninth after Cordero had thrown one pitch to Hinske. … Montreal C Einar Diaz caught two runners trying to steal second—Hudson in the first, and Hinske in the second. … The attendance was 8,279, the third straight game in which attendance has been below 9,000 in the 19,000 capacity Hiram Bithorn Stadium. … Toronto CFJohnson made a spectacular diving catch on a liner by Diaz in the seventh.

Related Articles