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Updated: Thursday, May 1, 2003 7:52 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Montreal Expos
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
5 9 1
Milwaukee Brewers
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
0 3 0
W Day (3-1)
L Franklin (1-3)
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MONTREAL 5, MILWAUKEE 0
 

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Zach Day 's sinker helped the Montreal Expos lower the broom on the Milwaukee Brewers .

Day tossed a three-hit shutout in his eighth major league start as the Montreal Expos completed their first three-game sweep here with a 5-0 victory.

The Expos also raised their major league-leading total of shutouts to six.

Day (3-1) pitched seven scoreless innings in a 3-0 blanking of Atlanta in his first start of the season on April 2, but this was his first complete game.

"I had a taste of it last time and I didn't want this one to slip by," Day said. "I just told myself to relax before I went out for the ninth."

The 24-year-old righthander yielded just three singles - a broken-bat infield hit by opposing pitcher Wayne Franklin in the third inning, a chopper up the middle by Royce Clayton which was backhanded by second baseman Henry Mateo and a bloop to left by Keith Ginter in the ninth.

Utilizing his sinker, Day recorded 17 groundouts, struck out five and walked one. Before Ginter's hit, John Vander Wal hit the only ball out of the infield with a flyout to left.

"As a sinkerball pitcher, that's one of those games you dream about," Day said. "(Catcher Michael Barrett ) kept putting it (the sinker sign) down there. They were hitting the top half of the ball. That's what you want to do as a sinkerball pitcher. You want them to hit the top half."

He faced just four batters over the minimum and the Brewers had just one player reach second base when Richie Sexson reached on a fielding error by Day and moved to second on a groundout in the seventh inning.

"He (Day) just kept getting ground balls with his power sinker," said Expos manaeger Frank Robinson . "It's very difficult to get under and into the air. It looks like a fastball but he keeps it down on you."

Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run single in the first inning and Barrett and Brad Wilkerson each hit solo homers for the Expos (18-10), who won for the sixth time in seven games, and are eight games over .500 for the first time since they were 25-17 on May 23, 2000.

Afterwards, Barrett and Wilkerson raved about Day, who made two starts and 17 relief appearances for the Expos last season after being recalled in June and has a 1.94 ERA in six starts this season.

"I'm real proud of how he's worked to get where he's at," Barrett said. "Zach's confidence is so high right now and that's all it takes. I haven't seen a pitching performance like that in a long time. He stayed on his sinker real well. If he stays this consistent, I don't think there's a pitcher that can compare to him."

"You see (Greg) Maddux do it or close to it, but two balls (to the outfield) is unheard of," Wilkerson said. "He's throwing strikes and he knows we're making the plays behind him."

The loss was the fifth in a row and eighth in nine games for the Brewers, who own the National League's worst record at 9-19.

"It's a daily grind," said Brewers manager Ned Yost . "Today, we couldn't get the ball in the air, but he (Day) was throwing a heavy sinker. He's the No. 1 ground ball guy in the league as far as I'm concerned."

The lone hit that landed in the outfield was a bloop by Ginter that landed in front of left fielder Wilkerson.

"His sinker is more side-to-side than up and down," Ginter said. "Then he slips in a four-seamer to keep you off balance and guessing. But his sinker starts down the middle and winds up on your knuckles."

All of Montreal's runs were against Franklin (1-3), who pitched six innings and allowed seven hits.

Mateo led off the game with a bunt single and, one out later, Vladimir Guerrero doubled and Cabrera followed with a two-run single to right.

Barrett led off the second inning with his third home run of the season to increase Montreal's lead to 3-0.

Wilkerson hit his fourth home run of the year in the fourth and Jose Macias added an RBI single in the fifth.


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