TORONTO (AP) -- The remnants of the Montreal Expos lost in their
return to Canada.
Ted Lilly struck out a season-high eight in five innings, and
Vernon Wells homered twice to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the
Washington Nationals 6-1 Friday night.After playing in Montreal as the Expos from 1969 though last
season, Canada's first major league baseball team moved to
Washington during the offseason and was renamed the Nationals.Several fans in the crowd of 17,465 wore hats and jerseys with
logos of the Expos, whose departure left the Blue Jays as Canada's
sole big league baseball team."Lilly pitched a great game. He was throwing his fastball again
and again," Montreal outfielder Jose Guillen said. "We were just
missing his pitches."Marlon Byrd drove in the lone run for the Nationals with an RBI
single in the fourth.Lilly (2-4), skipped over in his previous turn in the rotation,
allowed one run and five hits and dropped his ERA from 10.41 to
8.82. Lilly, who walked none, had allowed five or more runs in his
each of his previous five starts. Manager John Gibbons had thought
about having Lilly miss a second start but decided against it after
conferring with his coaches."Mentally, I was pretty low as far as confidence," Lilly said.
"It's nice to finally contribute to help us win a game. It's been
awhile."Gibbons said Lilly was overdue."We've been saying sooner or later he'd be back," Gibbons
said. "He's bread and butter is that fastball. He can throw it
right by you. I thought he was more aggressive tonight. He needed
that"Pete Walker pitched three innings to complete the six-hitter and
get his second career save, his first since 2002.Wells hit a two-run homer off Claudio Vargas (0-2) in the fourth
and a solo shot off Zach Day in the eighth, the eighth multihomer
of his career.Wells finished 2-for-4, raising his average to .224."I feel good right now, but I'm still a work in progress,"
said Wells, who has 11 of his 21 RBI in the last eight games.Toronto ended a string of 17 scoreless innings by scoring five
runs in the fourth. Aaron Hill hit a two-run triple off Vargas for
his first major league hit, and Ken Huckaby added an RBI single.Hill, playing his first major league game, went 2-for-4. The
Blue Jays recalled Hill from Triple-A Syracuse to take the place of
injured third baseman Corey Koskie, who is to have surgery next
week on his broken right thumb."I wasn't really too nervous. I don't think its hit me yet,"
Hill said.Wells put a shaving cream pie in Hill's face while during a
television interview after the game."I knew it was coming, so I was just sitting waiting to wear
it," Hill said.Vargas, who lasted just 1 1/3 innings in a start on Tuesday,
allowed five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings."I got in trouble because I started throwing the ball up,"
Washington 1B Wil Cordero, on the 15-day DL with a strained
left knee, began a scheduled six-day rehab assignment with the
Single-A Potomac Nationals. ... Toronto C Gregg Zaun is expected to
come off the 15-day DL Tuesday. Zaun sustained a concussion while
breaking up a double play this month.