CINCINNATI (AP) -- Rondell White and Charlie O'Brien hit two-run
homers Thursday night as the Montreal Expos concluded an
injury-marred trip with a 9-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Montreal won the first game and the last two on a 3-6 trip that
put a deep gash in its pitching plans. The Expos lost pitchers Matt
Blank, Mike Thurman and Hideki Irabu and catcher Chris Widger to
injuries during the three-city trek.
After scoring only 13 runs during the first seven games on the
trip, the Expos broke out with 10 runs and 16 hits -- matching their
season high -- Wednesday night.
They went one better in the finale, piling up 17 hits off five
Javier Vazquez (6-1) needed every one of those hits to beat a
team that's troubled him throughout his career. Vazquez had leads
of 8-2 and 9-3, but ended up leaving in the seventh when Dante
Bichette's two-run homer cut it to 9-7.
The Expos' depleted bullpen induced two double plays in the last
three innings to hold on. Steve Kline pitched the last two innings
for his second save in three chances.
Montreal wasted a chance to open it up again when Danny Graves
walked the bases loaded in the eighth but Orlando Cabrera grounded
out. It was the only inning in which Montreal failed to get a hit.
White and O'Brien homered off Ron Villone (6-2), who gave up 11
hits and eight runs -- both career highs -- in four-plus innings. The
drubbing ended the best stretch of the left-hander's career -- four
wins without a loss since April 23, a span of six starts.
Vazquez came into the game with a 2.79 ERA that was fourth-best in
the NL, but once again had big problems against the Reds. The
right-hander was 0-2 in his three previous starts against
Cincinnati, rocked for 16 runs in 15 innings.
Cincinnati gave him problems again with a lineup missing Ken
Griffey Jr., who got the day off against his wishes because of an
Michael Tucker started in center and had three hits, including
an RBI single in the seventh. Bichette's homer cut it to 9-7 and
ended a rough night for Vazquez, who gave up 12 hits and seven
earned runs that raised his ERA to 3.41.
Bichette had three hits off Vazquez, leaving him 6-for-10 career
against him with two homers.
|Vladimir Guerrero slides home in front of Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee to give the Expos a 4-1 lead in the third inning.|
It was 89 degrees at the first pitch. ... Three Expos have
at least 40 RBI -- Vladimir Guerrero (45), White (41) and Jose
Vidro (40). The Expos have never had two players get 100 RBI in
the same season. ... O'Brien was called up May 25 after Widger got
hurt. His homer was his first hit in eight at-bats. ... White is
2-for-11 career off Villone. Both hits were homers. ... A day after
manager Jack McKeon said there was no reason to rest Griffey, he
changed his mind. Griffey is hitting .212. ... Tucker was called
out in the third when he stepped out, got back in the box and then
stepped out again as Vazquez threw. Home plate umpire Marty Foster
called strike three. ... Mark Wohlers pitched one perfect inning
for Class A Dayton in his second rehab appearance, retiring all
three West Michigan batters he faced. He threw seven strikes in
Kansas City 13
Tampa Bay 2
Chicago Cubs 5
St. Louis 0