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Teams to play day-night doubleheader Saturday

4/18/2003

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- As poorly as the Cincinnati Reds
have been playing, even a rainout and the prospect of a long day
provided a respite.

The opener of a three-game series between the Reds and Montreal
Expos was postponed by rain Friday night. The teams will play a
day-night doubleheader on Saturday, with games at 1:05 p.m. EDT and
7:05 p.m. EDT.

"In the major leagues, you get this constantly," Reds manager
Bob Boone said. "We've been playing in very difficult weather in
Chicago. We prefer hot --- we definitely prefer hot."

The Reds were routed at Wrigley Field 16-3 on Thursday. The
wind-chill factor was 33 degrees, about 50 degrees colder than what
they can expect in Puerto Rico.

Cincinnati gave up at least 10 runs in losing three straight
times to the Cubs. The Reds haven't allowed 10 or more runs in four
games in a row since 1949.

The bad series left the Reds at 5-11, tied with Arizona for the
worst record in the NL. The Reds rank last in the league in
pitching and fielding, and next to the bottom in hitting.

Both teams will keep their rotations in order. Ryan Dempster
will start for the Reds against Zach Day in the opener and Jimmy
Anderson will face Montreal's Javier Vazquez in the second game.

There was steady rain all day in San Juan, with lightning and
thunder moving in during the afternoon and more showers in the
forecast. The game was called off about 2½ hours before it was to
start at 7:05 p.m.

"These things happen in baseball," Expos third baseman
Fernando Tatis said. "Now we go to the hotel, rest and get ready
for tomorrow."

This was the Expos' first home postponement because of inclement
weather since July 13, 1991, when a game against Los Angeles was
rained out. For many years, Olympic Stadium had a retractable roof,
which was eventually shut for good.

Maybe Montreal could also use a day off. After winning their
first four games at their part-time home, the Expos were swept in a
three-game series by Atlanta.

The Braves finished it off with a 14-8 win in 10 innings
Thursday night, and Montreal manager Frank Robinson called it "the
worst game we've played all year, from both sides."

Organizers of the Expos' games in Puerto Rico may have caught a
break, from an attendance standpoint, with the rainout. Good Friday
is a major religious holiday on the island, and a small crowd was
expected.

Cincinnati is not scheduled to play at Montreal this season,
with this three-game series at Hiram Bithorn stadium serving as the
Reds' only visit against the Expos. The teams have only one other
series this year, on the final weekend of the season at Cincinnati.