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Expos sweep past slumping Phillies

8/28/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Javier Vazquez and the Montreal Expos got
Olympic Stadium rocking one more time before heading out on the
road for a couple of weeks.

Vazquez extended his scoreless streak to 26 innings and Vladimir
Guerrero homered for the third time in four games as Montreal
finished a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 4-0
win Thursday.

A crowd of 20,030 saw the Expos complete their third four-game
sweep this season, and second in a row at home.

"It's good because 20,000 here feels like 50,000," Vazquez
said. "We love it."

Montreal has won nine straight home games, and five in a row
overall.

"Now that we're playing great baseball and we're in the race,
they can't see us next homestand because we play in Puerto Rico,"
Vazquez said. "We can't do anything about it."


The Expos, who are 36-17 in Montreal this season, will play just
six of their 27 remaining regular-season games at Olympic Stadium. To boost
revenue, 22 of the team's home games were moved to Puerto Rico,
including six against Florida and Chicago from Sept. 5-11.

If the Expos make the playoffs, their postseason games would be played in Montreal. There will be no games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Major League Baseball said Thursday.

"We were scheduled for 22 and this is the last of the 22, but
it certainly deprives us from playing in front of some of the best
fans in baseball, where we get our energy," said manager Frank
Robinson, whose team is 25-41 on the road.

"Hopefully, we can have a good series down there, but we've got
some business to take care of before we get to Puerto Rico."

Philadelphia lost its sixth straight, falling to 1-9 on its
season-high 13-game road trip. The Phillies entered the day tied
with Florida for the NL wild-card lead, one game ahead of Montreal
and St. Louis.

"We're just not playing well," first baseman Jim Thome said.
"They played well, you've got to give them credit for a good
series. It's frustrating because of the position we're in. We have
a good club and we're in this thing and we need to get out of this
as soon as possible."

The series drew a total of 83,145, including a fan who jumped
onto the field in the left-field corner with two outs in the eighth
and ran along the warning track waving a broom overhead.

Security guards chased him across the outfield, finally catching
him at the wall in right-center before rushing him off the field.

He wasn't the only fan excited about the sweep. After the game,
about a dozen brooms were thrown onto the field.

"It felt great to have the fans backing us in this series,"
Guerrero said as third base coach Manny Acta translated.
"Hopefully, we can continue to win and they'll continue to support
us and keep showing up at the stadium."

Vazquez (12-8) scattered four hits over eight innings, striking
out 10 to increase his season total to 205 -- second in the NL to
Chicago's Kerry Wood.

Vazquez pitched a three-hitter against San Francisco on Aug. 18
for his first shutout in nearly two years, and allowed three hits
over nine innings in his last start, a 1-0, 10-inning loss in San
Diego.

"Vazquez dominated us today," Phillies manager Larry Bowa
said. "They had a big three-run first and we didn't recover. Give
them credit, they're playing good right now. We're not playing
good."

Luis Ayala pitched a perfect ninth, finishing Montreal's ninth
shutout of the season.

Guerrero homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot
off Amaury Telemaco (1-2) in the first that put Montreal up 3-0. It
came one out after Orlando Cabrera's RBI double.

Guerrero, who also homered in the series opener, was summoned
for a curtain call after reaching 20 homers for the sixth straight
season.

Brad Wilkerson hit an RBI double in the fifth to make it 4-0.

Telemaco allowed seven hits and four runs in six innings in his
third start since he was called up from Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 17.

Game notes
Thome was originally scheduled to be rested but asked Bowa
to put him in the lineup following Wednesday's 9-6 loss. ... The
Expos swept a four-game series against San Francisco from Aug.
15-18. Montreal also swept four games against the New York Mets
from April 11-14 in Puerto Rico. ... The Expos are 7-0 when they
draw at least 20,000 at home. ... Montreal purchased LHP Vic
Darensbourg's contract from Triple-A Edmonton following the game.
LHP Eric Knott was sent outright to Edmonton.