Series: Game 1 of 3

Toronto leads 1-0 (as of 5/20)

Game 1: Friday, May 20
Game 2: Saturday, May 21
Game 3: Sunday, May 22

Nationals 1

(23-19, 11-11 away)

Blue Jays 6

(22-20, 9-9 home)

    7:07 PM ET, May 20, 2005

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    WAS 000100000 1 6 0
    TOR 00050001 - 6 11 0

    W: T. Lilly (2-4)

    L: C. Vargas (0-2)

    S: P. Walker (1)

    Wells launches two home runs against Washington

    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," Vargas said.

    Game notes

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press