Expos get four in the first and don't look back

MONTREAL (AP) -- Livan Hernandez enjoyed the Montreal Expos'

offensive so much that he pitched right in -- and hit, too.

Hernandez allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings, and

Brad Wilkerson and Maicer Izturis each hit home runs in Montreal's

8-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

"The team scored a lot of runs today and it's good for your

starting pitcher, and you're facing Mark Prior," Hernandez said.

"It's not easy to hit that guy and I see the team is scoring more

runs so that's good."

Hernandez (10-12) contributed two hits, including an RBI single.

He is batting .269 (18-for-67) with seven doubles, one homer and

nine RBI, numbers he hopes will lead to his first Silver Slugger

award for the NL's best-hitting pitcher.

"I want to win it," Hernandez said. "Let's see what happens.

It's not easy, but I'll try and I'll put my numbers out there."

Hernandez allowed Moises Alou's single in the second, Derrek

Lee's single in the fourth, and Michael Barrett's single in the

fifth. He also walked four.

"If you wait around and thinking you'll get a bunch of hits off

Livan, you're not going to do it," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

"Especially with that lead."

T.J. Tucker allowed Ramon Martinez's leadoff single in the ninth

before getting three outs to complete Montreal's 10th shutout of

the season.

Chicago, which began the day with a half-game lead in the NL

wild-card race, has lost four of five after losing just once in its

previous nine games.

Prior (4-4) allowed four runs in the first, including

Wilkerson's leadoff homer.

Izturis made it 5-0 in the fourth with his first major league


"I felt good coming out of the gate, but I just had a tough

time with the control early on and they came out hacking," said

Prior, who allowed six hits and five runs in five innings.

The Expos added three more in the seventh, with all the runs

charged to Todd Wellemeyer, who was replaced by left-hander Glendon

Rusch after Terrmel Sledge and Juan Rivera singled and Alex

Gonzalez walked to load the bases.

Brian Schneider drew a bases-loaded walk and Izturis hit a

run-scoring grounder for his second RBI to make it 7-0 before

Hernandez got his second straight single to drive in Montreal's

eighth run.

"We usually don't score runs for (Hernandez), and he's usually

just trying to hold the other team until we do," Expos manager

Frank Robinson said.

Montreal's Tony Batista struck out five times in five at-bats,

tying the major league record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning

game. He's the first major leaguer to do it since Cincinnati's Adam

Dunn on Aug. 20, 2002.

"It was just one of those games," Batista said.

Wilkerson hit his team-leading 26th homer on an 0-1 pitch to

begin the Expos' first-inning outburst. It was his seventh leadoff

homer of the season, tying San Francisco's Ray Durham for the most

in the majors.

Endy Chavez singled before Prior struck out Batista. Sledge

struck out before Rivera walked, and Gonzalez -- who missed four

starts because of a bruised right wrist after he was hit by a pitch

Thursday -- hit a two-run double to make it 3-0.

Schneider also doubled to drive in the Expos' fourth run of the


"I would have liked to come out of it with just a one-run

deficit, but the gates opened up and Mark had a tough time," Baker


Izturis, the younger brother of Los Angeles shortstop Cesar

Izturis, hit a drive just over the right-field wall for his first

career homer to begin the fourth.

"I'm trying to do the best that I can and I'm trying not to

change anything that I did in Triple-A," said Izturis, who singled

in his first plate appearance in the majors Friday for his first

career hit.Game notes
Wellemeyer made his second appearance since he was recalled

from Triple-A Iowa on Aug. 28. He struck out the only batter he

faced in Sunday's 10-3 loss to Houston. ... Hernandez leads the

majors with 209 2-3 innings pitched.