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MONTREAL 3, PHILADELPHIA 2

MONTREAL (AP) -- Tony Armas Jr. got his first win in over a year
as the Montreal Expos survived a brush with Jim Thome's power, as
well as his legs.

Armas pitched six scoreless innings to win for the first time in
14 months and Tony Batista hit a two-run homer, leading Montreal
over the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Thursday.

Moments after Thome missed a tying homer on an RBI double high
off the wall in right-field corner, left fielder Brad Wilkerson
threw out the Phillies slugger -- the potential tying run -- on a
close play at the plate to end the eighth.

"That was a huge play by Wilky," Armas said. "That was a
great throw. That was the game right there."

Armas (1-2) had season-ending shoulder surgery in May 2003 and
missed the first two months of this season while recovering from a
strained right rotator cuff.

"Armas was outstanding," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.
"I thought he was in midseason form. He had all hit pitches
working for him, he had good location, stayed in the strike zone
and did a terrific job."

Trailing 3-0, Philadelphia scored twice with one out in the
eighth on Thome's RBI double off left-hander Joe Horgan and Jason
Michaels' run-scoring single off Luis Ayala.

With runners at first and third, Mike Lieberthal flied out to
Wilkerson.

Thome tagged up and slid inside as Wilkerson's one-hop throw
tailed outside. Catcher Brian Schneider reached across and tagged
Thome's foot before it reached the plate.

"In that situation, we were tagging and you've got to be
aggressive," Thome said. "He made a great throw."

Armas gave up three hits, walked three and struck out seven. He
won for the first time since April 10, 2003.

Batista homered off Eric Milton (9-2) in the fourth to put
Montreal up 2-0. Endy Chavez drove made it 3-0 with an RBI single
in the seventh off Roberto Hernandez.

The Expos, who ended a 4-5 homestand, have won four of five
following a seven-game losing streak.

Jimmy Rollins doubled off Armas to open the game and doubled
again in the third. Armas left after throwing 115 pitches.

"I felt good," Armas said. "I can't complain about my arm, so
I'm happy for that."

Rocky Biddle pitched a perfect seventh. Horgan walked David Bell
and Bobby Abreu after getting the first out of the eighth.

Thome came close to tying it when his drive into the right-field
corner hit high up the wall, over Juan Rivera's leaping attempt.

"Usually when he hits the ball in the air like that it doesn't
seem to come down until it hits the seats," Robinson said. "I was
certainly glad to see it hit the fence."

Chad Cordero, who replaced Biddle as Montreal's closer earlier
this month, pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five
opportunities.

"We brought it back late, but for seven innings we didn't do
anything," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

Milton's four-game winning streak ended. He allowed four hits
and two runs in six innings.

"I can't blame the offense," Milton said. "I gave up the
homer and that cost us the game. That's the bottom line."

Game notes
Expos LF Carl Everett missed his fourth straight start
because of a strained left hamstring. Everett, who is day-to-day,
struck out as a pinch-hitter Wednesday. ... Phillies OF Ricky Ledee
was placed on the 15-day disabled list after having hemorrhoid
surgery. ... Montreal recalled left-hander Scott Downs from
Triple-A Edmonton following the game. Downs will start Saturday in
Toronto. Left-hander Chad Bentz was optioned to Edmonton.