Series: Game 2 of 4

Montreal leads 2-0 (as of 4/12)

Game 1: Friday, April 11
NY Mets0Final
Game 2: Saturday, April 12
NY Mets4Final
Game 3: Sunday, April 13
NY Mets1Final
in 10
Game 4: Monday, April 14
NY Mets3Final

Mets 4

(4-7, 1-4 away)

Expos 5

(7-4, 2-0 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 12, 2003

    Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico 

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    MON 02100200 - 5 11 2

    W: L. Hernandez (1-0)

    L: J. Seo (0-1)

    S: R. Biddle (3)

    First-place Expos win third straight game

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Latin American beisbol suits the Montreal Expos just fine.



    For the New York Mets, it doesn't matter where they play these days.

    Livan Hernandez dominated early and Michael Barrett homered as the Expos remained unbeaten in their new part-time home, defeating the Mets 5-4 on a sloppy Saturday night.

    "We made too many mistakes, gave too many opportunities to the other team,'' Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "We can't do that every night''

    No matter, the Expos are getting hot, and it's not just the tropical weather. The NL East leaders, despite two errors on the springy artificial turf of Hiram Bithorn Stadium, stretched their winning streak to three, including the first two of their 22 games in San Juan.

    After drawing 17,906 for a 10-0 win in Friday's opener, the Expos got a sellout of 18,264 Saturday, again bigger than all but eight crowds last season at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

    If the Expos make the playoffs, baseball says their postseason games would be played in Montreal. The Mets have no such worries right now.

    New York, loser of four straight and five of six, also made two errors and looked awful, with two throws going between fielders.

    "We're kind of our own worst enemy right now, shooting ourselves in the foot defensively,'' manager Art Howe said.

    Slow Mo Vaughn was nearly thrown out at first base on a ball lined into right field, just beating Vladimir Guerrero's throw.

    "That would have been embarrassing,'' Vaughn said. "I said, `O, Lord, on turf and with his strong arm, I got to keep running."

    Timo Perez struck out while getting hit with a pitch on the left wrist and Cliff Floyd was forced from the game with a strained right Achilles tendon. The Mets said both are day to day.

    On the plus side for the Mets, local hero Roberto Alomar had two hits and scored his 1,417th run, passing Roberto Clemente for the most among Puerto Rican-born players. Alomar received a big ovation when the announcement was made.

    "To pass Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico, it was real special, to be in front of my people, in my country, with my family,'' Alomar said. "I think Roberto Clemente's always going to be at the top, even though I passed him. I always believe he's here with me -- he's an angel. It's a real special night and I know he's watching us.''

    Hernandez (1-0), facing the Mets for the second time in seven days, allowed two runs -- one earned -- and eight hits in six innings. New York helped by leaving 13 on base.

    "I made some pitches to get out of jams,'' Hernandez said.

    Rocky Biddle got three outs for his third save, allowing a flyout to deep center by Mike Piazza in the ninth. Piazza went 0-for-5, stretching his hitless streak to 15 at-bats, and stranded seven runners.

    "It's frustrating,'' Piazza said. "I have no excuses. I'm just swinging very poorly.''

    Jae Seo (0-1), who pitched against Hernandez on Sunday in New York, lost his first major league decision, giving up five runs -- three earned -- and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

    Montreal took a 2-0 lead in the second, helped when Seo fielded a comebacker and threw it to second so fast shortstop Rey Sanchez couldn't get there in time. Jamey Carroll followed with a squeeze bunt that put the Expos ahead, and Hernandez singled for a 2-0 lead. Fernando Tatis added an RBI double in the third.

    New York ended its 13-inning scoreless streak in the fourth when Jeromy Burnitz had an RBI double and Seo hit a bouncer that glanced off first baseman Jeff Liefer's glove to second baseman Jose Vidro. His throw to the plate beat Ty Wigginton, who knocked the ball out of Barrett's glove. Liefer was charged with an error as the Mets closed to 3-2.

    Barrett homered in the sixth, and Carroll and pinch-hitter Ron Calloway chased Seo with consecutive doubles. New York closed in the seventh when Wigginton's two-out, bases-loaded smash bounced off Liefer and past Vidro, who tried to barehand it, allowing two runs to score.

    "The guys are trying,'' Howe said. "They're just not executing, for whatever reason.''

    Game notes

    It was 82 degrees at gametime. The Mets clubhouse had a sign that told players the field temperature on the artificial turf was 105-plus with 50 percent humidity and encouraged them to drink fluids. ... Sanchez left after 2½ innings because of a stomach virus. He started feeling dizzy during batting practice and threw up. ... Mets LF Tsuyohsi Shinjo made a leaping catch on Wilkerson's drive at the top of the fence in the eighth. ... Former Yankee Ed Figueroa threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press