Expos 4, Diamondbacks 0

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MONTREAL (AP)—Livan Hernandez had thrown enough pitches, so he was willing to hand off his shutout bid to the bullpen.

Hernandez and Luis Ayala combined on Montreal’s ninth shutout to lead the Expos over Arizona and Randy Johnson 4-0 Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks’ fifth straight loss.

Hernandez (9-10) struck out eight in eight innings, allowing seven hits and two walks. Ayala pitched a one-hit ninth as Montreal won its third straight.

“I wasn’t thinking about a complete game,” said Hernandez, who leads the majors with six. “It’s better to save my arm a little bit.”

Johnson (11-10) hasn’t won consecutive games since winning six straight from May 18-June 13 and is 1-4 in his last seven starts. He allowed three runs and five hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

“They were aggressive,” Johnson said. “I didn’t realize how aggressive until I was down 2-0. Livan pitched outstanding. He’s that kind of pitcher. I’m not pitching against Montreal again. If I was, I would know a little better going into next game that my slider was not as effective as my splitter or offspeed stuff.”

Arizona, which has the worst record in the major leagues at 35-79, has lost 24 of its last 28 games and 42 of 51. The Diamondbacks have been outscored 35-13 in their last five games.

“We haven’t given Randy enough run support,” Diamondbacks manager Al Pedrique said. “Even behind 3-0 tonight I thought he came back, regrouped himself and threw well.”

Montreal took a 2-0 lead in the first on Tony Batista’s sacrifice fly and Juan Rivera’s run-scoring double, and Brad Wilkerson added an RBI grounder in the second.

“It was all around good to get off to a good start against (Johnson) and Livan took it from there,” Wilkerson said. “He pitched a great game and got some key double play balls to get him out of innings. He threw a lot of strikes and it seemed like a nice easy game for us tonight.”

Nick Johnson added a run-scoring double-play grounder in the eighth off Mike Koplove.

Arizona reliever Shane Nance made a nice play in the seventh, catching the ball with his bare hand on the throw from first baseman Shea Hillenbrand on Endy Chavez’s two-out grounder. Nance stepped on first base, but first base umpire Troy Fullwood called Chavez safe, Replays show Nance beat Chavez to the bag.


The Diamondbacks have been shut out seven times this season. … Batista leads the Expos with 69 RBIs. … The Expos have been shut out a major league-leading 15 times this season.

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