Expos hold off Mets' late surge


MONTREAL (AP) -- Mike Piazza wasn't in the mood to celebrate his
latest offensive accomplishment.

Michael Barrett and Endy Chavez hit two-run doubles in the sixth
inning as the Montreal Expos overcame Piazza's two homers to beat
the New York Mets 5-4 Saturday night.

Piazza homered to start the sixth against Tony Armas Jr.
(10-12). Piazza connected in the eighth off Zach Day to reach 30
home runs for the eighth straight season.

He is the 11th player in major league history to have at least
eight consecutive 30-homer seasons.

"Well, it's kind of bittersweet tonight, obviously,'' Piazza

With an enthusiastic crowd of 17,278 on hand after the Expos
held an afternoon baseball clinic, Montreal scored four in the
sixth to overcome a 2-1 deficit.

Dan Smith got his second save despite giving up Ty Wigginton's
solo home run in the ninth. Smith struck out Piazza with a runner
on first to end the game.

"That was outstanding,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said.
"It was beautiful to see that crowd out there. It was wonderful --
nice and noisy, loud, very supportive, and drowned the Mets fans
out after a couple of innings. They stayed right there until the
end rooting for us and cheering for us, and we had no louder cheer
than when we got that last out.''

Vladimir Guerrero drew his third straight walk off Mike Bacsik
(3-2) to lead off the Expos sixth. Guerrero moved up on a
groundout, then slid safely into third on Matt Cepicky's grounder
when shortstop Rey Ordonez's throw got past third baseman Edgardo
Alfonzo for an error.

Barrett's 100th career double scored both runners to put the
Expos up 3-2 as his soft liner fell just inside the foul line in
short right field.

"That was great,'' Barrett said. "When you're playing in front
of two or three thousand people, a double like that doesn't really
mean a whole lot. But when you're playing in front of a big crowd
and the pressure's on you and you get a hit like that, it's nice to
give back a little bit -- give them something for coming out, so it
felt really good.''

After Barrett advanced on Brad Wilkerson's groundout and
pinch-hitter Troy O'Leary walked, Chavez sliced a drive over left
fielder Roger Cedeno's head.

"I knew when I hit the ball that I'd made very good contact,''
Chavez said. "That happened two days ago. I made the same contact
and he caught it, so I thought maybe he had a chance again. I just
waited for the ball to fall in.''

Trailing 1-0, New York tied the game in the fifth on a close
play at the plate on Cedeno's two-out RBI single to center. Ordonez
made a headfirst dive to beat Barrett's tag.

Armas allowed six hits and two runs in six innings. He improved
to 2-0 in his last three starts following a five-game losing

Orlando Cabrera's RBI single in the first gave Montreal a 1-0
Bacsik allowed four hits and three runs -- two earned -- in 5 1/3

Game notes
It was Piazza's fourth multihomer game of the season, and
31st of his career. ... Piazza has hit at least 30 homers in nine
of his 10 full seasons in the majors. ... Guerrero drew his fourth
walk of the game off reliever Scott Strickland in the seventh. ...
The Expos will wear their 1980s uniforms -- including the team's
distinctive red, white and blue caps -- for Sunday's series finale
as part of Montreal's second "Turn Back the Clock'' promotion of
the season.