Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, August 8
Game 2: Saturday, August 9
Game 3: Sunday, August 10

Expos 2


Astros 8

(63-54, 36-23 home)

    2:05 PM ET, August 10, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

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    MON 000000200 2 5 0
    HOU 30200003 - 8 9 0

    W: R. Villone (4-2)

    L: S. Downs (0-1)

    Villone pitches into seventh for the win

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman hit two of Houston's four home runs Sunday, backing Astros starter Ron Villone in an 8-2 victory over the Montreal Expos.

    Richard Hidalgo and Brad Ausmus also connected for the NL Central-leading Astros. Jeff Bagwell hit a two-run double in the first inning.

    Villone (4-2) gave up consecutive homers to Orlando Cabrera and Wil Cordero in the seventh but allowed just four hits and a walk in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out five, sending the Expos to their 13th loss in 15 road games.

    Brad Lidge struck out four in 1 2-3 hitless innings and Dan Miceli finished it for Houston.

    Montreal's Scott Downs (0-1) made his first start of the season after being called up from Triple-A Edmonton on Friday. Downs went three innings and allowed five runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out four.

    The Astros jumped on Downs immediately as Craig Biggio led off the first with a single followed by Morgan Ensberg's double. Bagwell doubled both in for a 2-0 lead.

    With the bases loaded two outs later, Downs appeared to catch his spike on the pitching rubber and stumbled off the mound, balking in Bagwell for a 3-0 Houston lead.

    Solo homers by Hidalgo, his 20th, and Ausmus, his third, made it 5-0 in the third.

    Meanwhile, Villone was cruising along, retiring 16 of 17 batters from the second through seventh innings before Cabrera and Cordero homered.

    It was Cabrera's 17th and Cordero's 13th, enough to chase Villone.

    The Astros added three runs off Rocky Biddle in the eighth on Kent's 15th home run, Berkman's 21st and an RBI triple by Adam Everett.

    Game notes

    Biggio's single left him just one hit short of tying Mickey Mantle for 94th on the career list. Mantle had 2,415 hits. ... Downs' balk was only the fourth by an Expos pitcher this season. Livan Hernandez, Javier Vazquez and Scott Stewart had the others. ... It was the third time this season Montreal has hit back-to-back homers. The last was July 5 against Atlanta when Cabrera and Brad Wilkerson did it.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press