Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/31)

Game 1: Monday, August 30
Chi Cubs5Final
Game 2: Tuesday, August 31
Chi Cubs0Final
Game 3: Wednesday, September 1
Chi Cubs2Final
in 11

Cubs 0

(72-60, 35-32 away)

Expos 8


7:05 PM ET, August 31, 2004

Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec 

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W: L. Hernandez (10-12)

L: M. Prior (4-4)

Expos get four in the first and don't look back

MONTREAL (AP) -- Livan Hernandez enjoyed the Montreal Expos' offensive so much that he pitched right in -- and hit, too.

Hernandez allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings, and Brad Wilkerson and Maicer Izturis each hit home runs in Montreal's 8-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

"The team scored a lot of runs today and it's good for your starting pitcher, and you're facing Mark Prior," Hernandez said. "It's not easy to hit that guy and I see the team is scoring more runs so that's good."

Hernandez (10-12) contributed two hits, including an RBI single. He is batting .269 (18-for-67) with seven doubles, one homer and nine RBI, numbers he hopes will lead to his first Silver Slugger award for the NL's best-hitting pitcher.

"I want to win it," Hernandez said. "Let's see what happens. It's not easy, but I'll try and I'll put my numbers out there."

Hernandez allowed Moises Alou's single in the second, Derrek Lee's single in the fourth, and Michael Barrett's single in the fifth. He also walked four.

"If you wait around and thinking you'll get a bunch of hits off Livan, you're not going to do it," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "Especially with that lead."

T.J. Tucker allowed Ramon Martinez's leadoff single in the ninth before getting three outs to complete Montreal's 10th shutout of the season.

Chicago, which began the day with a half-game lead in the NL wild-card race, has lost four of five after losing just once in its previous nine games.

Prior (4-4) allowed four runs in the first, including Wilkerson's leadoff homer.

Izturis made it 5-0 in the fourth with his first major league homer.

"I felt good coming out of the gate, but I just had a tough time with the control early on and they came out hacking," said Prior, who allowed six hits and five runs in five innings.

The Expos added three more in the seventh, with all the runs charged to Todd Wellemeyer, who was replaced by left-hander Glendon Rusch after Terrmel Sledge and Juan Rivera singled and Alex Gonzalez walked to load the bases.

Brian Schneider drew a bases-loaded walk and Izturis hit a run-scoring grounder for his second RBI to make it 7-0 before Hernandez got his second straight single to drive in Montreal's eighth run.

"We usually don't score runs for (Hernandez), and he's usually just trying to hold the other team until we do," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.

Montreal's Tony Batista struck out five times in five at-bats, tying the major league record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game. He's the first major leaguer to do it since Cincinnati's Adam Dunn on Aug. 20, 2002.

"It was just one of those games," Batista said.

Wilkerson hit his team-leading 26th homer on an 0-1 pitch to begin the Expos' first-inning outburst. It was his seventh leadoff homer of the season, tying San Francisco's Ray Durham for the most in the majors.

Endy Chavez singled before Prior struck out Batista. Sledge struck out before Rivera walked, and Gonzalez -- who missed four starts because of a bruised right wrist after he was hit by a pitch Thursday -- hit a two-run double to make it 3-0.

Schneider also doubled to drive in the Expos' fourth run of the inning.

"I would have liked to come out of it with just a one-run deficit, but the gates opened up and Mark had a tough time," Baker said.

Izturis, the younger brother of Los Angeles shortstop Cesar Izturis, hit a drive just over the right-field wall for his first career homer to begin the fourth.

"I'm trying to do the best that I can and I'm trying not to change anything that I did in Triple-A," said Izturis, who singled in his first plate appearance in the majors Friday for his first career hit.

Game notes

Wellemeyer made his second appearance since he was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Aug. 28. He struck out the only batter he faced in Sunday's 10-3 loss to Houston. ... Hernandez leads the majors with 209 2-3 innings pitched.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press