When Claudio Vargas walked into the training room to pick up an ice pack for his arm, the game ball from his first big league victory was waiting for him.
Getting the win took longer than the right-hander would have liked, but he wasn’t complaining.
Vargas worked into the ninth inning and the Montreal Expos sent the San Francisco Giants to their fifth consecutive loss, 6-3 on Wednesday at San Francisco.
“It feels very nice,” said Vargas, who plans to keep the ball in a special place back home in the Dominican Republic. “This is my first win in the major leagues. The other three games I pitched well. I never thought I’d go for a shutout.”
Ron Calloway and Jeff Liefer homered, and Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run single in a five-run seventh for the Expos (25-15), who moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since the 1996 season.
Montreal swept a series in San Francisco for the first time since 1995 and has won six of eight at Pacific Bell Park. The Giants are on their longest skid since dropping eight in a row in May 2000.
Cincinnati 4, St. Louis 0 -- Danny Graves threw a four-hitter in his first career complete game and Ken Griffey Jr. scored twice in his return to the starting lineup at St. Louis.
Griffey made his first start since dislocating his right shoulder on April 5 and was one for three with a double and a walk.
Austin Kearns homered for the second game in a row and had four runs batted in for the Reds, who are 6-0 against the defending NL Central champions over the last two weeks.
The Cardinals have lost eight of nine and fell below .500 for the first time since they were 11-12 on April 27.
Arizona 2, Philadelphia 0 -- Curt Schilling pitched a two-hitter at Philadelphia for his second consecutive shutout.
Making his third start since undergoing an appendectomy, Schilling (3-2) struck out 14 -- all swinging -- and walked just one. He recorded his first victory against his former teammates in four starts.
Alex Cintron hit his first major league homer for Arizona, which has won six of eight.
Pittsburgh 3, Houston 2 -- Kenny Lofton’s two-run homer backed Jeff D’Amico’s seven shutout innings at Pittsburgh and the Pirates stopped a 10-game losing streak to the Astros.
It was Pittsburgh’s longest streak against an opponent since dropping 11 in a row to the Cardinals in 2000-01.
Chicago 6, Milwaukee 1 -- Carlos Zambrano gave up three hits in eight innings and Troy O’Leary hit a three-run homer at Milwaukee.
The Cubs, 4-0 since Sammy Sosa went on the disabled list, have won the first three games of the series and will go for a sweep today. Chicago leads the Central Division by 2 1/2 games.
Colorado 6, New York 5 -- Chris Stynes hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and Larry Walker hit a two-run single in a five-run fifth to lead the Rockies at Denver.
Florida 10, San Diego 3 -- Light-hitting Brian Banks connected for a three-run homer and drove in four runs at San Diego.
Rookie Dontrelle Willis pitched five innings for his first big league win, helping Jack McKeon improve to 3-1 as Marlin manager.