Final in 11

Series: Game 1 of 3

Montreal leads 1-0 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Friday, September 27
Cincinnati 3Final
in 11
Montreal 4
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
Cincinnati 0Final
Montreal 6
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
Cincinnati 2Final
Montreal 7

Reds 3

(78-82, 40-39 away)

Expos 4

(81-79, 47-32 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 27, 2002

    Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec 

    1234567891011 R H E
    CIN 00020010000 3 - -
    MON 02000010001 4 - -

    W: J. Eischen (6-1)

    L: J. Riedling (2-4)

    Stinnett throws away Reds chances in 11th

    MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Expos want to finish up on a high.

    Kelly Stinnett
    Stinnett

    Cincinnati catcher Kelly Stinnett's throwing error with two outs in the 11th allowed the winning run to score as Montreal beat the Reds 4-3 Friday night.

    Vladimir Guerrero failed to homer for the third straight game in his quest for a 40-40 season but the Expos still won their 81st game to avoid a losing season for the first time in six years.

    "I'm not satisfied. We've got two more to play,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "We'll come out tomorrow and try and win that ballgame. I'd like to finish over .500 -- that would be meaningful. I'm not satisfied yet.''

    Montreal moved 1½ games ahead of Philadelphia, which lost 5-2 in Florida. The Expos can assure their first second-place finish since 1996 with a win in one of its final two games or another Phillies loss.

    Guerrero singled off John Riedling (2-4) to lead off the 11th. Wilton Guerrero sacrificed but Riedling's throw to second went into center field, allowing the runners to advance to second and third.

    Orlando Cabrera was intentionally walked but -- with the Reds using five infielders -- Vladimir Guerrero was forced out at the plate on Brad Wilkerson's grounder to first.

    Left fielder Adam Dunn remained in the infield and pinch hitter Brian Schneider grounded to second baseman Todd Walker, who threw out Wilton Guerrero at the plate, but Stinnett's throw to first went into right field, allowing Cabrera to score the winning run.

    "It was a couple of inches away,'' Stinnett said. "The guys did a really good job and I just tried to make a play at the end of the game and it didn't work out for us.''

    Joey Eischen (6-1) pitched the 11th for the win.

    Guerrero remained one home run short of becoming the fourth major leaguer -- after Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez -- to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season. Alfonso Soriano of the Yankees is also one homer shy.

    Guerrero, who was hitless in his first three at-bats, was hit on the left shoulder by reliever Chris Reitsma's 1-1 pitch in the eighth, drawing loud boos from the Olympic Stadium crowd of 7,750. He struck out swinging in the second and third and grounded in the sixth.

    "I'm not happy the way clubs have been pitching him,'' Robinson said. "I'm not going to stand for that. If they want to pitch him tough, pitch him tough, but don't use him for target practice.''

    Barry Larkin got a pinch-hit infield single to lead off the 11th. Pinch runner Wily Pena advanced to second as Reggie Taylor reached when Eischen misplayed his sacrifice for an error.

    Both runners advanced on Aaron Boone's sacrifice, but Eischen escaped the jam with a double play as Todd Walker flied to shallow center and Pena was thrown out at home by center fielder Endy Chavez.

    Trailing 3-2 after Russell Branyan hit his second homer of the game in the seventh, Montreal tied it in the bottom half on Cabrera's solo shot off Dessens.

    Wilkerson hit his 20th homer -- a two-run shot in the second -- to break the Expos' rookie record set by Andre Dawson in 1977 and tied by Larry Walker in 1990. He hadn't homered in 14 games since tying the record on Sept. 6.

    "It means a lot to even tie the record and be mentioned with names like Andre Dawson and Larry Walker,'' Wilkerson said. "It feels kind of good to get the monkey off my back because I've been sitting on 19 for so long.''

    Branyan tied it at 2 with a two-run homer off Javier Vazquez in the fourth before giving the Reds the lead with his second straight home run, a 422-foot drive into the back of the stands in right-center for his 16th of the season with one out in the seventh.

    Vazquez allowed seven hits and three runs in eight innings in his final start of the season. He went 2-0 over his last four starts following a seven-game losing streak.

    Game notes


    Boone played his 160th game of the season. Boone, who has made 140 starts at third base and 13 at shortstop, could become the first Red to appear in 162 games since Dave Parker in 1986. ... Vazquez allowed 28 home runs this season. He allowed a team-record 32 homers in 1998, his rookie season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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