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Expos hand Giants sixth straight loss

8/19/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Expos showed their former manager
no mercy with a historic sweep.

Javier Vazquez pitched a three-hitter for his first shutout in
nearly two years as the Montreal Expos completed a season sweep of
the San Francisco Giants with a 4-0 win Monday.

San Francisco finished 0-7 against Montreal overall, the first
time in the franchise's 121-year history it was swept in a season
series involving more than three games according to the Elias
Sports Bureau.

The Giants, who went 0-3 against Texas in 1999, still leads the
NL West by 8½ games over Arizona despite a season-high, six-game
losing streak.

"If I lose to one team and beat everyone else, I don't care,"
said San Francisco skipper Felipe Alou, who was the Expos'
winningest manager when he led the team from 1992-01. "We want to
win games but I didn't know that."

Vazquez (11-8) struck out seven and walked three for his sixth
career shutout -- his first since Aug. 28, 2001. He won for the
fifth time in seven starts, pitching his third complete game over
that span.

"It feels great," Vazquez said. "It's one of those days that
I felt great in the 'pen before the game, and in the game too."

The Expos, who completed their second four-game sweep of the
season, extended their winning streak to five, ending a 6-1
homestand.

Montreal swept a three-game series at Pac Bell Park from May
12-14.

"We're feeling good and spirits are up," Expos manager Frank
Robinson said. "You couldn't ask for a better situation going on
the road. Now we're going to have to go out there and button down
and play hard-nosed baseball and get some wins."

San Francisco played its fourth game without Barry Bonds, who is
on bereavement leave to be with his ailing father. The first-place
Giants went 0-6 on a road trip that was shortened when Thursday's
game in New York was postponed because of the blackout that struck
much of the Northeast.

The losing streak is the Giants' longest since they lost eight
in a row from May 12-20, 2000.

"I'm concerned about the health of my team," Alou said. "If
we had all our guys and lost I'd be concerned, but now the No. 1
concern is that half our regulars are out."

Reliever Felix Rodriguez was activated from the 15-day disabled
list following the game, and shortstop Rich Aurilia will be
activated when he is eligible on Tuesday.

Expos right fielder Vladimir Guerrero didn't start. Robinson
said that Guerrero, who missed 39 games with a herniated disc,
asked to be rested.

"I can understand that," Robinson said. "I'm glad that we got
him through this series with just one day off, missing one game, so
he'll be ready to go (Tuesday)."

Jose Vidro hit an RBI single off Dustin Hermanson (2-3) in the
sixth after Endy Chavez's leadoff double.

With one out and Vidro on third, Orlando Cabrera was called out
by first base umpire Jim Wolf on a foul popup when a fan reached
over the field to catch a ball near the Expos' bullpen mound.

Though first baseman Pedro Feliz didn't catch the ball, he was
credited with the putout when Wolf ruled the fan had reached out
and interfered with his attempt to play the ball.

Chavez went 3-for-4, including an RBI double after Vazquez's
run-scoring grounder in the seventh to increase the lead to 3-0.

Brian Schneider hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to drive in
Montreal's fourth run.

Making his third start since he was called up from Triple-A
Fresno, Hermanson retired the first nine batters before Chavez beat
out a grounder to second for an infield single to lead off the
fourth.

Hermanson, who was with Montreal from 1997-00, allowed four hits
and one run in six innings.

"Montreal has always been a hard-nosed ballclub with scrappy
young kids, and I was one of them," Hermanson said.

Game notes
Giants CF Marquis Grissom was rested. Grissom bruised his
left hand when he was hit by a pitch in Saturday's 4-1 loss, though
X-rays revealed there was no break. ... LF Todd Linden became the
seventh Giants rookie to make his major league debut this season.
He went 0-for-4. ... Feliz reached up to field a high hop on Jamey
Carroll's grounder in the fifth and dove headfirst to tag the base
with his glove ahead of Carroll. ... Vazquez has 15 career complete
games. ... It was the Expos' eighth shutout this season. ...
Montreal swept a four-game series from the New York Mets in April
in Puerto Rico. ... The Giants optioned SS Cody Ransom and LHP Chad
Zerbe to Fresno following the game.