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To Err Is Montreal: Jays Topple Expos

Chris Carpenter's precision pitching and Montreal's sloppy fielding were a winning combination for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Carpenter pitched eight strong innings and Toronto took advantage of two Montreal errors and a passed ball in the seventh inning to beat the Expos 3-2 Tuesday night.

Carpenter (4-2) won this third straight start, allowing one run and eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

"Everything was working for me tonight," Carpenter said. "I was spotting all my pitches. My fastball, my curveball and my changeup were all there, and we capitalized on their mistakes."

The Blue Jays scored twice in the seventh to take a 3-1 lead.

After Carlos Delgado led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout, Tony Fernandez hit a grounder that tipped off the glove of first baseman Brad Fullmer. Delgado scored and Fernandez went to second as the ball trickled into right field.

After Fernandez reached third on a passed ball, Ed Sprague followed with a grounder to shortstop Mark Grudzielanek, who slipped and threw wildly to first. Fernandez scored on the play to make it 3-1.

"We made a couple errors on some very routine groundballs in very critical situations," Montreal manager Felipe Alou said. "The ball never left the infield after the Delgado doubled."

Montreal made it 3-2 in the ninth on Mark Grudzielanek's two-out RBI single off Randy Myers, who then got the final out for his 20th save.

Expos starter Javier Vazquez left after the sixth inning with the score tied 1-1. The 21-year-old rookie, who has five straight no-decisions, allowed five hits, walked one and struck out seven.

"That Vazquez kid threw good," Toronto manager Tim Johnson said. "I like him, I think he's got a bright future."

Miguel Batista (2-4) gave up two runs and two hits in two innings.

Fullmer put the Expos up 1-0 in the fourth with an RBI single, but the Blue Jays tied it in the fifth on Darrin Fletcher's homer.

Notes: Carpenter did not walk a batter for the third time in his last four starts. ... Vazquez is 0-4 on the road with a 5.37 ERA. ... Montreal pitcher Marc Valdes was placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained ligament in his right elbow. Pitcher Rick DeHart was recalled from Triple-A Ottawa to take his place. ... Montreal's Mike Mordecai left the game in the fourth inning after spraining his left thumb while sliding into second. ... The U.S. national anthem was not played before the game.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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