PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Montreal Expos have baseball's worst
offense partly because they don't hit many homers or drive the ball
to the outfield enough. For at least one night, though, the routine
groundball provided more than enough scoring.
Terrmel Sledge drove in two runs with a grounder just past first
base during a four-run seventh inning and the Expos halted
Pittsburgh's 10-game home winning streak with a 6-2 victory Monday
The Expos got all the help they needed from an overconfident
local TV news reporter and an underachieving Pirates infield
"I was watching TV at noon today and the anchorwoman said the
Pirates had won 10 in a row at home and after tonight it would be
11," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "I wish I could talk to
Pinch-hitter Ron Calloway, just up from Triple-A Edmonton after
hitting .070 with Montreal earlier, added a two-run single in a
go-ahead seventh in which the Expos hit the ball out of the infield
Ending the Pirates' longest home streak since they won 24 in a
row late in the 1978 season, the Expos improved to 4-1 against
Pittsburgh to win the season series for the third straight year.
"They kept giving us opportunities and we kept not taking
advantage of them, but then we did a few things right to help
ourselves," Robinson said.
Groundballs to first baseman Randall Simon proved Montreal's
most reliable method of scoring after the Pirates' Craig Wilson hit
a two-run homer in the first off Rocky Biddle. It is the Pirates'
only multi-run homer in their 12 homers since July 2.
Biddle, who shut out the Pirates for five innings in a 4-0
victory on July 10, left after five Monday with the score tied at
2. Joe Horgan (3-0) retired the only batter he faced for the
Montreal scored in the third on Brian Schneider's two-out RBI
single, then tied it against Pirates starter Josh Fogg in the third
when Brad Wilkerson doubled and came around to score on Jose
Vidro's grounder to -- of course -- Simon.
Simon fielded the ball behind first but Fogg could not handle
the first baseman's high throw, which arrived just before Fogg and
second baseman Jose Castillo collided. Vidro was given a single and
Fogg drew an error for not handling the throw, scoring Wilkerson.
"Josh should have caught it and stepped on first and he would
have been out of the inning," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said
with an audible sigh. "It just wasn't our night."
Fogg was lifted after five innings, yielding six hits and two
runs. Biddle gave up three hits and two runs in his second start of
the season, both against Pittsburgh.
The Expos loaded the bases with none out in the seventh, but
reliever John Grabow (0-4) had a chance to get out of the inning
when Vidro grounded back to the mound for a double play. After Tony
Batista was intentionally walked to load the bases, Sledge hit a
seemingly routine grounder to Simon.
But when Grabow failed to cover first, Sledge beat Simon to the
bag for a single. Wilkerson also kept running on the play from
second and scored almost before Simon could react and get the ball
"The first couple of steps I noticed Simon was too far away and
Grabow was still near the mound, so I knew I was going to beat the
pitcher," Sledge said. "It was a matter of beating Simon to the
bag. ... It doesn't happen very often, but (you run hard) because
you never know what will happen."
Grabow was upset at costing himself a chance to end the inning
with no scoring.
"If I field my position, we're out of the inning and it's still
a tie game," Grabow said. "My job is to get over (to first) and I
didn't get over."
McClendon said, "It should have been an out, easy."
Calloway, 3-for-43 during his earlier tour with Montreal, then
singled into center to score two more runs.
"I'm just looking for an opportunity to do something, help the
team and maybe get another chance," Calloway said.
Luis Ayala followed Horgan with two scoreless innings, and Chad
Codero pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.
^Notes:@ The Pirates lost for the fifth time in 20 games. They are
16-7 since losing 12 of 14. ... Montreal had dropped two straight
and seven of 11. ... The Expos are 15-8 against the Pirates since
2000 and have won six of nine in Pittsburgh. ... Montreal has
scored the fewest runs in the majors (308) and has the second
fewest homers (78) in the NL.