MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Expos have their sights set on their first second-place finish in six years.
Jamey Carroll singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to lift Montreal over the Florida Marlins 4-3 Thursday night.The Expos reached 80 wins for the first time since 1996, when they went 88-74 to finish second in the NL East. Montreal moved into sole possession of second place, a half-game ahead of Philadelphia, which had its game against Atlanta rained out.
They responded very nicely to that number and it's quite an accomplishment for this team, but we're not through yet. ”
— Expos manager Frank Robinson, on his team reaching 80 wins for the first time since 1996
"They responded very nicely to that number and it's quite an accomplishment for this team, but we're not through yet,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "We've got three ballgames to play and we're going to try to win three ballgames.''Vladimir Guerrero had a single in four at-bats to remain one home run short of becoming the fourth player in major league history with 40 homers and 40 steals in the same season.Derrek Lee hit a two-run homer for the Marlins, who are assured
of their ninth losing season in the franchise's 10-year history.
Florida fell to 77-82 with three games remaining."We came real close, we had the lead and we couldn't hold it,'' Marlins manager Jeff Torborg said. "It was important to me -- that stretch around the All-Star break killed us.''Lee hit his 27th homer off Tony Armas Jr. (12-12) with two outs
in the sixth to put the Marlins up 3-2. Kevin Millar drew a one-out
walk to reach base for the 41st straight game. Brad Wilkerson led off the bottom half with his second
consecutive double off Brad Penny (8-7). Wilkerson scored one out
later to tie it at 3 on Wil Cordero's pinch-hit single.Cordero stole second and advanced on Endy Chavez's sacrifice
before Carroll singled to restore Montreal's one-run lead."When the other team scores, you try to bounce back and get the
momentum back,'' Carroll said. "It was huge for us to get those
runs and the momentum stayed our way.''Armas allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He went
4-0 over his last five starts to even his record.Zach Day struck out five in three hitless innings for his first
career save."It feels good -- it was a different way to get it, but it was a
good way to get it,'' Day said. Carroll doubled leading off the third and went to third when
left fielder Tim Raines misplayed the ball for an error. Carroll
scored on Jose Vidro's RBI grounder.Florida hit three straight two-out singles off Armas in the
third, and Ramon Castro drove in a run to tie it at 1.Wilkerson doubled in the bottom half, and Brian Schneider put
Montreal up 2-1 with an RBI single.Penny, who had won his two previous starts, allowed seven hits
and four runs -- three earned -- in 5 2/3 innings.
Raines, who played for Montreal from 1979-90 and in 2001,
made just his fourth start of the season in what was likely his
final appearance at Olympic Stadium. "I'm going to cherish this
day,'' Raines said before the game. "This is where it all started
for me and I was proud to be a Montreal Expo.'' ... The Marlins
were a franchise-best 92-70 in 1997 to win the NL wild card before
beating Cleveland in the World Series. ... Lee is one home run
short of his career high set in 2000. ... Chavez singled in the
eighth to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.