Floyd goes 0-for-4 in first game back with Expos

MONTREAL (AP) -- Expos manager Frank Robinson wasn't cutting

rookie Henry Mateo any slack for a costly mistake.

Cliff Floyd got a warm welcome back to Montreal, but went 0-for-4 in his 2002 Expos debut.
Cliff Floyd got a warm welcome back to Montreal, but went 0-for-4 in his 2002 Expos debut.

Mateo, making his first start of the season in place of Gold

Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera, made a three-base throwing error

in the ninth inning Friday night that sent the Atlanta Braves over Montreal 8-3.

"It's tough on him -- it's tough on us,'' Robinson said. "We're

not missing the tough plays. We're not making the routine plays and

that costs us ballgames.''

The Braves, who lost starter Greg Maddux early when he

aggravated a calf injury, scored five times in the ninth.

Atlanta increased its NL East lead over second-place Montreal to

11½ games.

Maddux left the game after five innings when he aggravated a strained left calf while running the bases.

"I feel a lot better now than I did after the fifth or sixth

inning,'' Maddux said. "I'm hoping what happened was that I just

popped the scar tissue. I'm pretty optimistic and I'm feeling a lot

better right now.''

The loss quieted a festive crowd of 14,256 at Olympic Stadium as

Cliff Floyd made his first appearance in an Expos uniform since


Floyd, acquired from Florida on Thursday, was given a prolonged

standing ovation before grounding out in his first at-bat leading off the second. Batting cleanup, he went 0-for-4.

"I was a little anxious tonight in my return,'' Floyd said. "I mean, the fans were unbelievable. A standing 'O' for two minutes -- that's something special.''

"It was a tough loss for us but we have to just figure out a way to come back and not hang our heads and not get ourselves down,'' he said. "We know we've got a good club here.''

Trailing 3-1, Atlanta tied it in the eighth on Gary Sheffield's two-run homer off T.J. Tucker.

Vinny Castilla doubled to start the ninth off T.J. Tucker (4-1).

Braves pitcher Jason Marquis pinch-ran, and scored the go-ahead run

when Mateo bobbled pinch-hitter Wes Helms' grounder and then threw

it past first baseman Andres Galarraga.

"It was a routine groundball,'' Mateo said. "An error is an error. I rushed a little bit. I held the ball too long and when I threw, I made a bad throw.''

Mateo played in place of Cabrera, who was a late scratch due to

a sore left ankle. Rafael Furcal added a two-run triple, Julio

Franco hit an RBI single and Chipper Jones had a sacrifice fly.

Mike Remlinger (7-0) pitched the eighth for the win.

Expos starter Tomo Ohka, who scattered seven hits and allowed one run in seven innings.

Vladimir Guerrero hit his third homer in two days, connecting in

the Expos fourth. His 22nd home run of the season was a 431-foot

shot over the left-field stands.

Maddux stole second base after he walked with two out in the

fifth. He scored the tying run on Furcal's RBI double past third

baseman Fernando Tatis' diving attempt.

The four-time Cy Young winner pitched a perfect bottom half before leaving, having allowed just two hits.

"It didn't hurt him at all when he stole,'' Braves manager

Bobby Cox said. "He's a competitor. He's going to do stuff like

that. He's the one who got it going. If he doesn't go, we probably

don't score a run tonight. it takes something like that to get the team rolling.''

Left-hander Chris Hammond relieved and pitched a perfect sixth

but the Expos took the lead against reliever Kevin Gryboski in the

seventh on Galarraga's RBI double.

Galarraga, who advanced to third on the throw to the plate,

scored on a wild pitch to put Montreal up 3-1.

Game notes
It was Maddux's fifth career stolen base, and first since

1997. ... Hammond had allowed just three earned runs in his last 29

appearances, holding opponents scoreless in 26 of those outings.

... Sheffield has reached safely in 38 straight games, one game

short of Jones' team record set in 1999.