Expos 4, Pirates 0
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—Used to closing out games for Montreal, Rocky Biddle made a smooth transition to starter.
The right-hander, Montreal’s closer with 11 saves in 14 opportunities this season, looked poised on the mound as he gave up two hits, one walk, struck out three and did not allow a runner past first base in his first start since September 25, 2002, with the Chicago White Sox.
“I tried to take the approach where I wanted to eat up some innings and keep us in the ballgame,” Biddle said. “I felt I was more focused, relaxed, I didn’t let anything bother me.”
He took Zach Day’s spot in the rotation because he was the only reliever available to start. Day is out since July 6 with right shoulder tendinits.
Biddle (1-4) felt tired after throwing 56 pitches ending the fifth, but did not rule out starting again.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’ll take another shot at it,” he said.
“I was surprised, very pleasantly surprised,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “That was just outstanding on his part, he looked poised and relaxed.”
Montreal scored off Kip Wells in the seventh on a two-run double down the left-field line by Carroll, who then scored on Horgan’s single—the pitcher’s first career hit— that chased Wells after 107 pitches.
The Expos also scored in the first on Tony Batista’s RBI single to left.
“For some reason we just couldn’t get it going,” said Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon.
Wells (4-6) pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowed four runs on six hits, walkedthree and struck out four.
Biddle’s last start was a 7-2 win over Boston. … One of Roberto Clemente’s grandsons, Roberto Luis Clemente, ran the bases before the game wearing a No. 21 Pirates jersey, and saluted four Clemente teammates standing next to each base—1B Bob Robertson at first, P Steve Blass at second, IF Jose Pagan at third and P Nellie Briles at home. He also threw out the first pitch, caught by Expos manager Frank Robinson. … Montreal 3B Tony Batista was 1-for-4 and has a nine-game hitting streak, after getting his 1,000th career hit on Friday. … Montreal IF Andy Fox went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hit situation, extending his hitless streak to 30 at-bats dating back to April 28. … Montreal CF Endy Chavez made a diving catch on Tike Redman’s flyball in the seventh. … Pittsburgh 2B Bobby Hill turned a nifty doubleplay in the seventh, fielding Nick Johnson’s grounder on his knees, and throwing sideways to SS Jack Wilson, who relayed to first. … Pirates RF Craig Wilson was hit by a pitch in the second, the major league leading 17th time he’s been plunked this year, and his teammate Jack Wilson was hit by a pitch in the first. The Pirates lead the majors in that category, with 54 batters getting hit by pitches. … Pittsburgh extended its season-high streak to 91 consecutive innings and 10 straight gameswithout making an error.