SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Livan Hernandez started Montreal
off with a shutout in the start of what could be the Expos' final
homestand in Puerto Rico.
Hernandez pitched a four-hitter for his fourth complete game of
the season, a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays."I tried to keep their hitters off balance," he said.
"Everything was working, I didn't miss a pitch."Tony Batista drove in two runs for the Expos, who were scheduled
to play 22 games in San Juan for the second straight season. Major
league baseball hopes to select a new permanent home for the team
later this year.Hernandez (6-7) struck out five and walked one to beat David
Bush, who lost in his major league debut. It was Hernandez's sixth
career shutout, the first since Sept. 25, 2002, for San Francisco
against San Diego."He was just outstanding. He kept them off balanced, it was a
superb effort," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.Robinson had relievers warming in the bullpen in the seventh and
eighth, but Hernandez's performance made them unnecessary."I wasn't close to taking him out," he said.Bush allowed one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings with four
strikeouts and one walk. Bush said he was "more excited than
nervous."Hopefully, this is the starting of many more starts for him,"
Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said.The game drew 8,220, well below the 19,000 capacity of Hiram
Bithorn Stadium.After allowing a leadoff double to Frank Menechino, Hernandez
retired 11 straight hitters before Eric Hinske's single in the
fourth.Alex Rios opened the fifth with a single and stole second. After
Howie Clark's flyout, Chris Gomez reached first on an error by
third baseman Tony Batista. Bush then bunted into a forceout at
third, and Menechino grounded out.Batista hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth off Justin Speier
after singles by Jose Vidro and Nick Johnson chased Bush after 93
pitches.Terry Adams walked Vidro in the eighth, and Batista hit an RBI
double off Kerry Ligtenberg.
Hernandez is tied with Bartolo Colon for the most complete
games since the start of the 2002 season (17). ... Bush was 6-6,
with a 4.06 ERA in 16 starts with Triple-A Syracuse. ... Toronto 1B
Carlos Delgado did not play because of a muscle strain in his
ribcage. ... Montreal has six shutouts this season. Toronto has
been blanked five times.