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Beltre's 15th homer powers Dodgers to win

8/21/2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers haven't gotten as
many big hits from Adrian Beltre as they anticipated this season.

They hope Wednesday night is a sign of things to come.

Beltre's three-run homer in the 10th inning led the Dodgers to a
4-1 victory over Montreal and ended the Expos' six-game winning
streak.

Jolbert Cabrera hit a one-out double in the 10th against Rocky
Biddle (4-6), who intentionally walked Jeromy Burnitz before Beltre
drove a 1-1 pitch into the pavilion in left-center for his 15th
homer.

"It's a great confidence boost for Adrian," teammate Dave
Roberts said. "They pitch around Burnitz to get to him and he
comes up with the big home run. He had a couple of tough at-bats
during the game, but he was able to clear his head and come up with
the biggest at-bat of the game."

Eric Gagne (2-3) got the victory despite allowing a run and
three hits in two innings. Vladimir Guerrero tied Andre Dawson for
first place on the Expos' career home run list, taking Gagne deep
with one out in the ninth to snap a scoreless tie.

But the Dodgers tied it in the bottom half on Ron Coomer's
run-scoring groundout against Biddle. Alex Cora started the rally
with an infield single and continued to second as second baseman
Jose Vidro made an off-balance throw into the dugout.

Cora took third on Cesar Izturis' sacrifice and Coomer -- who
replaced Robin Ventura at first base on a double switch in the
ninth -- hit a dribbler to third baseman Jamey Carroll. Cora edged
toward home until Carroll made his throw to first, then broke for
the plate and beat the throw from Wil Cordero.

"Carroll had no decision to make because he doesn't have eyes
in the back of his head," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.
"He's got to come get the ball and focus on getting an out now.
The catcher's right there, looking at the play develop, so he's got
to get Carroll's attention and let him know what's going on behind
him -- and then maybe he can react to it."

Guerrero, ejected from Tuesday night's game after arguing a
disputed homer by Shawn Green, drove an 0-2 pitch into the lower
seats in the left-field corner for his 16th homer and 225th of his
career -- reaching that figure in 1,984 fewer at-bats than Dawson.

"It's hard to compare them because they played in different
eras. Both of them are great players, but Vladimir is a
superstar," said Gagne, who grew up in Montreal and witnessed the
latter part of Dawson's All-Star career. "Vladimir's a great,
great hitter. And if you make a mistake on him, he's going to make
you pay for it."

It was only the second homer allowed by Gagne, who's converted
all 41 save opportunities this year and 49 straight overall. The
homer snapped a scoreless streak of 21 1-3 innings by the Dodgers'
All-Star closer.

Wilson Alvarez and Livan Hernandez were locked in a scoreless
duel for seven innings. Alvarez gave up just three singles and
struck out six before he was removed for a pinch-hitter. The
Dodgers' lefty has allowed just one earned run in 20 innings over
his last three outings with 20 strikeouts.

"The way the game was going, we knew it would go down to the
wire," Vidro said. "Both starters did a great job out there.
Alvarez was throwing live fastballs, moving it in and out and
throwing his off-speed pitches good. He was really in command."

Hernandez also was lifted for a pinch-hitter, after allowing six
hits and striking out five. The right-hander, who's won seven of
his last eight decisions, allowed fewer than three earned runs for
the sixth straight games after pitching consecutive complete games
against Houston and San Francisco.

Todd Zeile, signed by the Expos on Wednesday after getting
released by the Yankees three days earlier, walked and singled his
first two times up.

Expos catcher Brian Schneider prevented a run in the fifth when
he threw out Roberts trying to steal second with one out. Paul Lo
Duca and Cabrera followed with singles before Burnitz lined out to
first.

Game notes
Green left after four innings because of a spasm in the
left side of his neck. ... The Expos are Zeile's 11th major league
team. ... Hernandez entered 5-10 against the Dodgers with a 4.78
ERA in 17 starts. ... Schneider, who has started 22 of the last 23
games with Michael Barrett on the DL, has thrown out 15 of 37
baserunners trying to steal. ... Montreal transferred right-hander
Dan Smith to the 60-day disabled list and optioned left-hander
Scott Downs to Triple-A Edmonton.