<
>

Lidle shuts down Montreal in front of 12,382

MONTREAL (AP) -- Larry Bowa had nothing bad to say about Montreal
after what was likely the Philadelphia Phillies' last game there.
He did offer a bright side to the Expos' expected move, though.

"It would be a lot easier for travel not to go through
customs," the Phillies manager said.

Bobby Abreu hit a two-run double to back a solid outing by Cory
Lidle in Philadelphia's 2-1 victory over Montreal on Sunday.

A promotion helped draw a crowd of 12,382 as the first 10,000
fans to arrive at Olympic Stadium were given an Expos winter knit
cap. The Expos, expected to be relocated for 2005, begin a
three-game series against Florida on Monday in what will likely be
the final major league games in Montreal.

"This was a good baseball town," Bowa said. "I don't know
what happened. Until it happens, I think Olympic Stadium will be
used next year."

Lidle (11-12), who improved to 4-0 in his last six starts,
allowed four hits -- including Brian Schneider's RBI single in the
fifth -- in 7 1/3 innings. He left after allowing Maicer Izturis'
one-out single in the eighth.

"I was getting ahead of hitters, throwing strikes with my
off-speed pitches and forcing them to make contact," Lidle said.

Rheal Cormier got pinch-hitter Valentino Pascucci to ground to
first to begin an inning-ending double play.

Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in as
many days, and his 20th this season.

Placido Polanco went 3-for-4 with a walk as Philadelphia won its
sixth in seven games. The Phillies finished 44-37 on the road --
their first winning record away from home since the pennant-winning
team of 1993 went 45-36.

Livan Hernandez (11-15) allowed 10 hits and two runs in eight
innings, struck out nine and walked three. He lashed out at a
reporter who he felt was trying to get him to talk about a lack of
run support.

"I pitched good and I didn't win the game," Hernandez said
toward the end of a profanity-laced response. "That happens in
baseball. I lost 2-1 and that's it. I'm not thinking nothing about
my teammates, nothing else. First of all, they're my teammates. And
I've got a lot of friends here, so I don't say anything bad to
anybody.

"Nothing happened in the game. I made a mistake and I lost the
game. That's the point."

Chase Utley singled to lead off the fifth and Polanco bunted for
a single, with both runners advancing after Hernandez fielded the
ball and flipped the ball from his glove over first baseman Brad
Wilkerson for an error.

"It was a good bunt," Wilkerson said. "It was just a good
play by them and good hustle."

Abreu hit his 42nd double to drive in both runners, raising his
team-leading RBI total to 103.

"That guy over there is as good as anybody," Bowa said about
Hernandez. "We got two runs and we made it hold up."

Lidle was even sharper than Hernandez to begin the game. He held
Montreal to one hit -- Terrmel Sledge's leadoff single in the second
-- while facing the minimum through four before yielding a run in
the bottom half.

Sledge hit his second straight leadoff single and advanced on
Juan Rivera's grounder to short before scoring on Schneider's RBI
single.

Game notes
Lidle is 4-2 in nine starts with the Phillies since he was
acquired from Cincinnati on Aug. 9. ... Schneider's run-scoring
single gave him a career-high 47 RBI. He had 46 last season. ...
The Expos are 12-22 when Hernandez starts.