SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- A persistent rainstorm helped the
Milwaukee Brewers get a win Wednesday night. It also might have
cost them one of their key players.
Bill Hall hit a go-ahead, three-run triple through the rain to
help the Brewers snap Montreal's four-game winning streak with a
6-3 victory. The celebration was somewhat muted, however, because
of a freak injury to third baseman Wes Helms.
A few hours before the game, Helms slipped and fell on a
rainsoaked ramp leading from the clubhouse to the dugout. He
sprained his right knee and had to be sent home for an MRI, the
results of which will determine if he goes on the disabled list.
"It's just part of it," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "It's
the day we had."
Victor Santos (2-0) threw five innings and allowed two runs for
the win. Dan Kolb pitched the ninth to improve to 9-for-9 in save
Kolb allowed two singles in the ninth, which brought Jose Vidro
to the plate with a chance to tie it. Vidro grounded out, though,
and finished 0-for-4, extending his slump to 2-for-24.
The game started after a 59-minute rain delay. The Brewers were
having little success against Montreal starter Sun-woo Kim (2-2),
who allowed only one hit through the first three innings. But the
rain began again in the fourth and Kim was clearly affected.
He gave up a leadoff double to Craig Counsell -- one of four hits
for Counsell on the night -- threw a wild pitch to the backstop,
then gave up two walks before Hall came up and cleared the bases
for a 3-2 lead with his first triple of the season.
"He hit the hell out of the ball, but nobody saw it because you
couldn't see it through the rain," Yost said.
During the rally, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and manager
Frank Robinson came out to give Kim an assortment of dry rosin
bags. But they didn't help, and when Ben Grieve singled in Hall for
a 4-2 lead, Kim's night was over.
"I was feeling really good for three innings," Kim said.
"Then, in the fourth, the rain came out. My hand got real wet and
sweaty. But there are no excuses. That's baseball."
The teams waited through a 43-minute rain delay in the middle of
the fifth, and Yost had to decide whether to put Santos back out
there, knowing he needed three more outs to get the win.
The manager decided to give Santos a chance, and it paid off.
"It wasn't an easy decision, but you always want to give a guy
an opportunity," Yost said. "It was borderline for me."
Santos has given up just five earned runs in four games since he
moved into the rotation May 1.
Lyle Overbay went 0-for-2 with two walks for the Brewers, ending
his 18-game hitting streak. He was on deck in the ninth, but Geoff
Jenkins grounded into a double play to end the inning and provide
yet another indicator of just what a mixed day it was for
Helms, a .252 hitter, also hit his head when he fell, but
general manager Doug Melvin said it was the knee, not the head,
that concerned the team.
Melvin refused to blame conditions at Montreal's home away from
home, Hiram Bithorn Stadium, which doesn't have as nice a setup as
most major league parks.
"There are accidental injuries and there are preventable
injuries, and obviously, this one was accidental," Melvin said.
The game drew 8,157 fans, although by the time the final out
came at 11:55 p.m., only a few hundred remained. Counting the
delays, the game took 4 hours, 50 minutes to complete.
"They're worth it if you win," Yost said. "But that sure was
a long one."
Montreal's Carl Everett went 0-for-3 in the second game
after his return from a 30-game absence with a shoulder injury. ...
Montreal 1B Nick Johnson went 0-for-2 in the first game of his
rehab assignment with Brevard County on Tuesday. ... Endy Chavez
went 4-for-5 for the Expos, marking his first four-hit game since
September 2002. ... Grieve returned to the lineup after sitting out
two games with a sore groin.