Guerrero just misses punching 40-40 Club ticket


MONTREAL (AP) -- Vladimir Guerrero might have a long winter if he comes up short of a 40-40 season.

Guerrero went 3-for-4 with three RBI in Montreal's 6-0 victory
over Cincinnati on Saturday night, missing a home run by the
slightest margin to remain one shy of a 40 homer-40 steal season.

"There's still a game to go, so we'll see what happens
tomorrow,'' Guerrero said through an interpreter.

Guerrero, who has 39 homers and 40 steals, hit a drive which
landed directly on top of the right-field wall before bouncing back
onto the field for an RBI single in the third inning.

"It was close, but it hit the very top,'' Reds right fielder
Jose Guillen said. "We're from the same town and I want him to do
the 40-40, but not in that situation. Maybe tomorrow, with nobody
on base.''

Guerrero pumped his fist in the air as he rounded first, then
suddenly threw up both arms in despair and shouted, "No!'' when
first-base umpire Gary Cederstrom waved both arms in front of him
to indicate the ball -- which had bounded back onto the field -- was
still in play.

"When I hit it, I thought it was gone,'' Guerrero said. "At
first I thought it was out, but then the guys saw it on video and
then I saw it for myself after, and it was the right call. The ball
didn't go out.''

Guerrero hit an RBI double in the fifth for his 204th hit, tying
Al Oliver's team record set in 1982. Guerrero broke the record with
a run-scoring single in the seventh.

"It just goes to show you he's not a selfish ballplayer, he'll
take the basehits,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "I know he
was trying for it but he wasn't upset about it.''

The Olympic Stadium crowd of 11,376 gave a sustained ovation as Reds first baseman Russell Branyan handed Guerrero the ball and Oliver -- who participated in an old-timers game prior to the game -- came on to the field to congratulate him.

At 82-79, the Expos ensured their first winning season in six
years. Montreal clinched its first second-place finish since 1996.

"The personal thing is good but I feel really good about the
fact that the team won the ballgame because it clinched second
place,'' Guerrero said.

Sun Woo Kim (1-0) allowed six hits in 8 1/3 innings. He came within two outs of his first career complete game in his third major league start, leaving the game after getting the first out of the ninth.

"It was an outstanding job,'' Robinson said. "He had a few
rough spots but he made the pitches when he had to and stayed in
there and battled until he started cramping up again. I had to take
him out. I wasn't going to let him just stay out there to try and
get the complete game.''

Brian Schneider hit a solo homer and Jose Vidro had an RBI
double in Montreal's three-run fifth.

Brian Moehler (2-4) allowed five hits and five runs -- four earned -- in 4 2/3 innings.

Branyan struck out swinging in the sixth as the Reds broke the
team record of 1,172 strikeouts set last season. Cincinnati struck
out five times in the game to raise its season total to 1,174.

Game notes
Reds 3B Aaron Boone appeared in his 161st game. The last Cincinnati player to appear in 162 games was Dave Parker in 1986. ... Oliver, Tim Foli and Ron LeFlore were among the former Expos
who participated in the old-timers game. Ron Hunt, who was hit by a pitch a major league-record 50 times in 1971, sported a particularly well-worn glove. "That's the one I ended my career with,'' said Hunt, who claimed before the game he had no intention of getting in the way of a pitch. He then took Claude Raymond's
first pitch off his backside as he stood with both feet touching home plate.