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Ohka improves to 5-0 in past seven starts

9/2/2002

MONTREAL (AP) -- Montreal Expos manager Frank Robinson has
adjusted his expectations for Tomo Ohka since spring training.

Ohka pitched his second career complete game, a six-hitter that
led the Montreal Expos over the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Monday.

''I looked at him as a fifth starter, and what we'd get from
him, we'd get from him,'' Robinson said. ''He's been tremendous.''

Ohka (13-6) pitched his second complete game in four starts,
improving to 5-0 in his last seven starts. Ohka, who struck out one
and walked two, had not gone the distance in 59 career starts prior
to an 11-hitter in a 9-2 victory over San Diego on Aug. 18.

''He makes it look easy -- goes about his work, you look up and
he's got a win on the board,'' Robinson said.

Philadelphia had won its previous eight road games and four
in a row overall. The only other defeat for the Phillies in their
past 12 games was 6-3 to Ohka on Aug. 28.

''He's impressed me a lot,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
''He's got good stuff. He knows how to pitch.''

The 26-year-old Japanese right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA in
four starts against Philadelphia this season.

''It just happened. I didn't do anything special,'' Ohka said
through an interpreter.

Pat Burrell drove in Philadelphia's run with a two-out double in
the eighth.

Montreal, swept by Atlanta in a three-game weekend series,
stopped a four-game losing streak.

Brian Schneider had three RBI, hitting a two-run double in the
second off Joe Roa (3-2). Roa, who had won his three previous
starts, allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.

''Bottom line, (Ohka) pitched a little bit better today than I
did,'' Roa said. ''Our offense has been great and I can't beat
myself up over this. I'm as disappointed as anybody in the room
that we lost but most of the time our offense is going to score
some runs.''

Ohka didn't allow a runner to reach third through the first
seven innings, holding the Phillies to singles by Burrell and
Travis Lee in the second, Tomas Perez's single in the fifth and
Placido Polanco's single in the sixth.

Making his first start since serving a one-game team suspension
Saturday, Montreal's Fernando Tatis drew a one-out walk in the
second.

Orlando Cabrera singled and Schneider lined a ball over
Polanco's leaping attempt at third.

Vladimir Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

The Expos added two runs in the eighth on Cabrera's run-scoring double
and Schneider's RBI single.

Game notes
Only 5,723 were on hand at Olympic Stadium, the Expos'
smallest crowd since 4,890 attended a 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh on
June 5. ... Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas waved to the small
crowd from the press box as he was given a warm ovation when the
stadium's scoreboard acknowledged his recent induction into the
Hall of Fame. ... Ohka has a 1.66 ERA since giving up five runs
while lasting just one inning in a 7-2 loss the Florida on July 27.
He has allowed eight earned runs in 43 1/3 innings over his last
seven starts. ... The Expos recalled outfielder Endy Chavez and right-handed pitchers Tim
Drew and Sun-Woo Kim from Triple-A Ottawa following the game.