Wolf blanks Expos

Phillies pitcher hits homer off Juneau's Bentz

Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2004

MONTREAL - The Montreal Expos sure could use Randy Wolf in their batting order.

Wolf homered, hit an RBI double and pitched a four-hitter for his seventh career shutout, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the punchless Expos 7-0 Saturday.

Wolf (1-1), who pitched his 11th career complete game, hit his second major league homer in the seventh, off Chad Bentz of Juneau, for a 6-0 lead. Wolf added an RBI double in the ninth off Luis Ayala.

Asked to choose whether he felt better about his performance in the batter's box or his 109-pitch effort, Wolf stuck with what he does best.

"Always the pitching," said Wolf, who struck out three and walked one. "That's what I'm paid to do. It's nice to get lucky at the plate once in a while but it's nice to really pitch well."

Bentz, who was tagged with the loss in Friday's 8-6 defeat in Montreal's home opener, pitched the seventh and eighth innings, giving up one run, two hits and a walk. In Friday's game, Bentz gave up a double to Bobby Abreu and struck out Jim Thome in the seventh inning, but reliever Jeremy Fikac allowed Abreu to score the game-winning run later in the inning.

Montreal, off to a franchise-worst start at 4-14, was shut out for the fifth time and has scored two runs or fewer in 13 games.

"It seems like everybody pitches a good game against us," said Jose Vidro, who had two of Montreal's four singles off Wolf.

The Expos have 32 runs, the fourth-lowest total through 18 games in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, ahead of only the 1907 Brooklyn Superbas (20), the 1909 Washington Senators (28) and the 1966 Kansas City Athletics (31).

"I've never seen a run like this," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "We go through ballgames where we don't hit the ball hard. And I'm not saying we only hit the ball hard once or twice, what I'm talking about is our outs are not hit hard, and I've never seen anything like that."

The game drew just 6,899 despite a kids' opening day promotion. On Friday night, the Expos drew 30,112, the smallest crowd for an Olympic Stadium opener since 1985.

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