Series: Game 4 of 4

Montreal won 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, July 8
Game 2: Friday, July 9
Game 3: Saturday, July 10
Game 4: Sunday, July 11

Pirates 1

(39-47, 21-25 away)

Expos 2

(31-56, 18-27 home)

    1:35 PM ET, July 11, 2004

    Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico 

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    W: S. Downs (1-3)

    L: J. Fogg (6-7)

    S: C. Cordero (7)

    Downs first Expo leftie to win in 3 years

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Montreal Expos pitcher Scott Downs got some help in the field from Jose Castillo -- the Pittsburgh Pirates' second baseman.

    Downs pitched seven sharp innings to give Montreal its first win by a left-handed starter in three years, and the Expos took advantage of two dubious decisions by Castillo to beat Pittsburgh 2-1 Sunday in their final game this season in Puerto Rico.

    Montreal took three of four from Pittsburgh and left Hiram Bithorn Stadium with a 7-14 record after going 13-9 in San Juan last year.

    "It's nice to finish up like this," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "Three out of four to finish it up, now we have to think the same way in the next series."

    The Expos (31-56) head into the All-Star break tied with Arizona and Kansas City for the fewest wins in baseball.

    Downs (1-3) allowed one unearned run on five hits and two walks while striking out five. He became the first Montreal lefty starter to get a win since Matt Blank on June 21, 2001, against the New York Mets.

    Luis Ayala worked a perfect eighth and Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

    "The key was keeping the ball down, and we made some good defensive plays behind me," Downs said.

    Castillo was involved in both of Montreal's runs off Josh Fogg.

    Terrmel Sledge walked to open the fifth and advanced to third on Brian Schneider's single. Jamey Carroll then hit a grounder that should have turned a double play, but Castillo struggled with the relay to first and only got the force at second, allowing Sledge to score.

    A bad decision by Castillo in the sixth led to Montreal's second run.

    Tony Batista doubled to left, Nick Johnson walked and Orlando Cabrera hit into a fielder's choice that moved Batista to third. Sledge then hit a grounder to Castillo that should have turned another easy double play, but Castillo hesitated thinking about throwing home, got only one out at second, and Batista scored.

    "It's part of the growing pains," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "You gotta take the good with the bad sometimes."

    Fogg (6-7) pitched six innings, allowed two runs, four hits, walked three and struck out one.

    Pittsburgh scored in the second when J.J. Davis doubled to right and left the game with a right-hip flexor strain. Castillo singled and Jason Kendall walked to load the bases, and Rob Mackowiak, pinch-running for Davis, scored when Montreal second baseman Carroll lost a throw from catcher Schneider trying to pick off Castillo.

    "We gave them one, we take away two. It's give and take, they gave us one more," Robinson said. "That's not the way I drew it up on the board in spring training, but you just take advantage of some of those breaks."

    Game notes

    Davis strained his right-hip flexor while running to second on a double to right field. He was replaced by Mackowiak, who dropped an easy flyball in the fourth. ... Mackowiack's error was the first committed by the Pirates's defense after a season-high 95 straight innings without an error. ... Pittsburgh 1B Craig Wilson was hit by a pitch in the first, the major league-leading 18th time he has been plunked this season, and seventh time in the last nine games. The Pirates lead the majors with 55 batters hit by pitches. ... Montreal 3B Tony Batista went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Attendance was 8,101.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press