Javier Vazquez (12-8) has always dominated the Phillies and Thursday was no different. Coming into the game with 19 scoreless innings in a row under his belt, Vazquez again dominated the Phillies for eight innings. The outing gave Vazquez the longest scoreless innings streak by a pitcher this season at 27. The right-hander allowed just four hits and three walks over eight innings, while striking out ten hitters.
Amaury Telemaco (1-2) lasted six innings, but made a fatal mistake in the bottom of the first inning. Hot hitting Brad Wilkerson led off the inning with a base hit and stole second. Orlando Cabrera wasted no time in doubling home Wilkerson to give the Expos a 1-0 lead. Telemaco then got Jose Vidro to ground out to second with Cabrera moving over to third, leading to Telemaco’s mistake. Attempting to pitch around Vladimir Guerrero – another Phillie killer – Telemaco got a pitch in over the plate and Guerrero deposited it for his 20th homerun of the season. Telemaco got out of the rest of the inning without further damage, but the Expos already had a 3-0 lead.
Vazquez was just rolling through the Phillies lineup, including throwing three straight fastballs by Jim Thome. The Expos weren’t doing much damage to Telemaco either until the fifth inning.
The Expos used good, fundamental baseball to get another run in the fifth. Endy Chavez singled to lead off the inning and Vazquez put down a perfect bunt to move Chavez to second with one out. Wilkerson continued to roll, delivering an RBI double and giving the Expos a 4-0 lead through five innings.
Telemaco lasted just one more inning before Tyler Houston pinch-hit for him in the seventh. On the day, Telemaco pitched six innings and allowed seven hits and four earned runs. He also walked one and struck out four. Brandon Duckworth and Jose Mesa each threw a scoreless inning to cover the eighth and ninth innings.
Vazquez threw 128 pitches over eight innings and was relieved by Luis Ayala in the ninth. Ayala pitched a perfect inning to lock up the win for Montreal.
The win not only gave the Expos a four-game sweep of the Phillies, it moved them into a tie with the Phillies in the National League Wild Card race. The Marlins temporarily took a ½ game lead in the race, pending the outcome of their game Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
The Phillies have lost 18 of their last 21 games on the road and are 1-9 on their current 13 game road trip. The trip finally ends with a weekend in New York against the Mets. Friday night’s game will have Kevin Millwood (12-9, 3.80) going against Steve Trachsel (13-7, 4.01).