TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays didn't need their top three
hitters against the majors' worst team.
Toronto took advantage of a season-high three errors by
Montreal, which entered with the fewest errors in the majors,
leading to four unearned runs.
The Blue Jays won despite missing first baseman Carlos Delgado,
center fielder Vernon Wells and left fielder Frank Catalanotto, who
was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained
"It's huge for us to get off to a good start," said Johnson, a
second-year outfielder, who has been forced to bat third because of
the injuries. "We had good success offensively and Batista was
huge for us."
Jose Vidro homered for Expos, who have the worst record in the
majors at 24-48.
Batista (6-5) allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking
out two and walking three. He has a 1.94 ERA in June.
"I thought it was a gutsy performance. He wasn't carrying his
real good stuff today," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. "He
was having a hard time harnessing it, and on top of that, he was
battling a blister."
Montreal might be playing its last series in Toronto, although
major league baseball is pushing back its decision on where to
relocate the Expos until after the All-Star break.
Montreal's Nick Johnson hit an RBI single in the first, but
Johnson's error in the second led to an unearned run. Johnson, the
first baseman, bobbled a ball for an error -- allowing to Eric
Hinske to reach. Chris Gomez drove in Hinske with an RBI single off
Scott Downs (0-1).
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera had a ball skip past him for an error,
allowing Gomez to score. Menechino followed with an RBI single,
giving Toronto a 3-1 lead.
"You don't like to see that, but it happens," Montreal manager
Frank Robinson said of the errors. "Hopefully, it's out of our
system for a while."
The Blue Jays added four runs in the third on Gomez's
run-scoring single, Phelps' two-run single and center fielder Endy
Chavez's throwing error.
Vidro homered off Batista in the fourth, but Menechino and
Johnson homered off Claudio Vargas in the bottom half to give
Toronto a 9-2 lead.
Downs, promoted from Triple-A Edmonton on Friday, allowed seven
runs -- three earned -- on six hits in 2 2-3 innings. Downs is the
first left-hander to start for Montreal since his last start --
August 10, 2003, at Houston.
Catalanotto has already missed 23 games with the injury
this season, and it's the second time he's been placed on the DL
because of it. He re-injured the groin June 17, and hasn't played
since. Delgado has been out since May 30 with a strained right
ribcage muscle, while Wells has been sidelined since June 16 with a
strained right calf. ... Johnson, Toronto's center fielder, robbed
Tony Batista of extra bases with a leaping grab at the wall in the
fourth. ... The last left-hander to earn a win for Montreal was
Matt Blank on June 21, 2001, against the New York Mets.