Expos turn back Phillies again
Montreal's Vazquez extends scoreless streak to 26 innings
Montreal ? Javier Vazquez and the Montreal Expos had Olympic Stadium rocking one more time before heading out on the road for a couple of weeks.
Vazquez extended his scoreless streak to 26 innings and Vladimir Guerrero homered for the third time in four games as Montreal finished a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 4-0 win Thursday.
A crowd of 20,030 saw the Expos complete their third four-game sweep this season, and second in a row at home.
“It’s good because 20,000 here feels like 50,000,” Vazquez said. “We love it.”
Montreal has won nine straight home games, and five in a row overall.
“Now that we’re playing great baseball and we’re in the race, they can’t see us next homestand because we play in Puerto Rico,” Vazquez said. “We can’t do anything about it.”
The Expos, who are 36-17 in Montreal this season, will play just six of their 27 remaining games at Olympic Stadium. To boost revenue, 22 of the team’s home games were moved to Puerto Rico, including six against Florida and Chicago from Sept. 5-11.
“We were scheduled for 22 and this is the last of the 22, but it certainly deprives us from playing in front of some of the best fans in baseball, where we get our energy,” said manager Frank Robinson, whose team is 25-41 on the road.
“Hopefully, we can have a good series down there, but we’ve got some business to take care of before we get to Puerto Rico.”
Philadelphia lost its sixth straight, falling to 1-9 on its season-high 13-game road trip. The Phillies entered the day tied with Florida for the NL wild-card lead, one game ahead of Montreal and St. Louis.
“We’re just not playing well,” first baseman Jim Thome said. “They played well, you’ve got to give them credit for a good series. It’s frustrating because of the position we’re in. We have a good club and we’re in this thing and we need to get out of this as soon as possible.”
Cardinals 3, Cubs 2
St. Louis — Kerry Robinson hit his first home run of the year, connecting for a leadoff shot in the bottom of the ninth inning that lifted St. Louis past Chicago. Robinson hit a 3-2 pitch from Mike Remlinger (5-5) over the right-center field wall. The ball landed in the St. Louis bullpen, where Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi caught it with his cap.
Reliever Mike DeJean (5-7) pitched 12/3 hitless innings to earn his first win since Milwaukee traded him to St. Louis last week.
Dodgers 6, Astros 3
Houston — Eric Gagne earned his 44th straight save of the season, setting a major-league record as he closed out Los Angeles’ win over Houston. Jeromy Burnitz homered and drove in three runs as the Dodgers ended a four-game losing streak. Gagne beat Tom Gordon’s 1998 record of 43 in a row to begin a season. Gordon still holds the record for consecutive saves overall, with 54. It was Gagne’s 52nd straight save, dating to last season.
Mets 3, Braves 1
Atlanta — Rookie Jose Reyes homered from both sides of the plate and Al Leiter allowed two hits in seven shutout innings, leading New York past Atlanta. Leiter outpitched Mike Hampton, who had won nine straight decisions. The 20-year-old Reyes became the first Mets rookie to connect from each side of the plate in one game.
Pirates 5, Marlins 0
Pittsburgh — Josh Fogg pitched shutout ball for 72/3 innings and Jack Wilson drove in four runs as Pittsburgh held Florida scoreless for the second straight game. The Marlins were limited to three runs and 12 hits during three straight losses to the Pirates to finish 1-8 on a three-city road trip.
Rockies 6, Giants 1
Denver — Preston Wilson hit a grand slam, Jason Jennings pitched seven strong innings and Colorado snapped a five-game losing streak. With Colorado clinging to a 2-1 lead, Wilson connected off Jim Brower in the seventh for his career-best 32nd homer. Wilson drove in five runs, boosting his major-league-leading RBI total to 126, also a career high. Jennings (11-12) ended a four-game losing streak, striking out a career-high 10. He allowed six hits, one run and one walk.
Brewers 4, Reds 3 (10)
Cincinnati — Bill Hall’s two-run homer in the 10th inning sent Milwaukee to its 10th straight victory. Geoff Jenkins homered in his fourth consecutive game for Milwaukee before leaving in the seventh because of an injured left thumb.