Vicente Palacios made seven relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season after spending most of the year as a starter for the organization’s triple-A affiliate at Buffalo.
This season, Manager Jim Leyland inserted Palacios into the Pirates’ rotation when Bob Walk was injured, and Palacios justified the move with his performance Thursday against the Montreal Expos.
Palacios pitched a four-hitter for his first major league shutout as the Pirates beat the Expos, 8-0, at Montreal.
Bobby Bonilla and Barry Bonds hit back-to-back home runs for the Pirates, who have won six consecutive games.
“I mixed my pitches well and the team gave me a lot of support,” Palacios said. “I’m just glad they had the confidence to let me start.”
Palacios (1-0) struck out five and walked none en route to his first complete game in the major leagues.
The Pirates, who swept the three-game series, took the lead in the third inning off Chris Nabholz (0-3) when Gary Redus singled with two out, went to second on a walk to Jay Bell and scored on Jeff King’s single.
Bonilla hit his third home and Bonds followed with his second with two out in the sixth inning to make it 3-0.
Cincinnati 6, Chicago 4--Pinch-hitter Luis Quinones hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning at Cincinnati, handing the Cubs their sixth loss in seven games.
With the score 4-4, Herm Winningham led off the eighth with a double and, one out later, Quinones hit the first pitch from Heath Slocumb (1-1) for his first homer.
The Cubs wasted a bases-loaded, one-out scoring opportunity in the eighth when reliever Ted Power (2-1) got Andre Dawson and pinch-hitter Chico Walker to pop out.
Randy Myers pitched the ninth for his third save.
Philadelphia 5, New York 3--The Mets gave Dwight Gooden a three-run lead at Philadelphia, but he couldn’t hold it.
Pinch-hitter Randy Ready broke an eighth-inning tie with a run-scoring single to give Manager Jim Fregosi his first victory with the Phillies.
Roger McDowell (3-0) worked one inning for the victory. Mitch Williams earned his fourth save.