Expos 2, Pirates 1

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—Scott Downs pitched seven sharp innings to give Montreal its first win by a left-handed starter in three years, leading the Expos over the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Sunday in their final game this season in Puerto Rico.

Montreal took three of four from Pittsburgh and left Hiram Bithorn Stadium with a 7-14 record after going 13-9 in San Juan last year.

Downs (1-3) allowed one unearned run on five hits and two walks while striking out five. He became the first Montreal lefty starter to get a win since Matt Blank on June 21, 2001, against the New York Mets.

Luis Ayala worked a perfect eighth and Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Pittsburgh second baseman Jose Castillo was involved in both Montreal’s runs off Josh Fogg.

Terrmel Sledge walked to open the fifth and advanced to third on Brian Schneider’s single. Jamey Carroll then hit a grounder that should have turned a double play, but Castillo struggled with the relay to first and only got the force at second, allowing Sledge to score.

Another defensive blunder by Castillo led to Montreal’s second run in the sixth.

Tony Batista doubled to left, Nick Johnson walked and Orlando Cabrera hit into a fielder’s choice that moved Batista to third. Sledge then hit a grounder to Castillo that should have turned another easy double play, but Castillo hesitated thinking about throwing home, got only one out at second, and Batista scored.

Fogg (6-7) pitched six innings, allowed two runs, four hits, walked three and struck out one.

Pittsburgh scored in the second when J.J. Davis doubled to right and left the game with a right-hip flexor strain. Castillo singled and Jason Kendall walked to load the bases, and Rob Mackowiak, pinch-running for Davis, scored when Montreal second baseman Carroll lost a throw from catcher Schneider tryingto pick off Castillo.

Notes

Davis strained his right-hip flexor while running to second on a double to right field. He was replaced by Mackowiak, who dropped an easy flyball in the fourth. … Mackowiack’s error was the first committed by the Pirates’s defense after a season-high 95 straight innings without an error. … Pittsburgh 1B Craig Wilson was hit by a pitch in the first, the major league-leading 18th time he has been plunked this season, and seventh time in the last nine games. The Pirates lead the majors with 55 batters hit by pitches. … Montreal 3B Tony Batista went 1-for-3 and extended his hittingstreak to 10 games. … Attendance was 8,101.

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