SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Vladimir Guerrero changed his
hairstyle and his luck, homering and driving in five runs as the
Montreal Expos beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-5 Saturday to sweep their
Brian Schneider homered twice in the opener, including a leadoff
shot in the 10th inning that lifted the Expos to an 8-7 win.
Javier Vazquez (2-1) struck out 11 as Montreal rolled to a 9-0
lead and sent Cincinnati to its fifth straight loss. Austin Kearns
was Cincinnati's lone bright spot, homering in both games to give
him a major league-leading eight.
The team that ranked last in the NL in pitching, fielding and
hitting. The Reds also continued to give up runs in bunches, having
been outscored 54-20 during their skid.
Guerrero had been struggling, too, ever since the Expos came to
their part-time home in the Caribbean. Superstitious or otherwise,
he came to Hiram Bithorn Stadium with a frizzy Afro and left with
shaved sides and a trim on top.
The All-Star right fielder began the day in a 4-for-24 slump
this week in San Juan. He drove in a run and scored one in the
opener, then broke loose in the second game.
Guerrero lined an RBI double to key a three-run first inning,
and clapped his hands after reaching the second-base bag and ending
an 0-for-14 rut.
Guerrero walked and stole a base the next time up and hit an RBI
single in the fifth off Jimmy Anderson (1-2). The slugger capped
his big day with a huge, three-run drive in the sixth.
Fernando Tatis hit his first homer and drove in three runs for
Montreal. Kearns had a homer and three RBIs in each game.
The Expos wanted to build momentum going into their official
home opener Tuesday back up in Montreal, and Schneider helped them
do it in the first game.
Schneider hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth, then connected off
Scott Williamson (2-1) to win it. The backup catcher's first career
multihomer game ended the Expos' three-game losing streak.
Every Expos starter except Schneider, the eighth-place hitter,
had scored a run or driven in one by the fifth inning.
Casey temporarily saved Cincinnati, hitting an RBI single with
two outs in the ninth that tied it at 7. He returned to the Reds
just in time after missing Thursday's game for the birth of his
Luis Ayala (1-0) won his first major league decision.
The announced crowd of 10,296 for the opener was the smallest
for the Expos' eight games so far in Puerto Rico. It was the makeup
for Friday night's rainout, and this game was played in
intermittent drizzle. The second game drew 13,109.
With a split doubleheader and teams from the United States
and Canada playing at Puerto Rico, there were six anthems played
during the long day. No telling whether that's a record. ...
Vazquez has struck out 32 in 20 innings over his last three starts.
... The Reds have allowed 15 home runs in their last five games.
... Montreal 1B Jeff Liefer ended an 0-for-17 slump that included
10 strikeouts with an RBI double in the first game. ... Cincinnati
managed to stop its streak of allowing 10 or more runs at three
straight games. The Reds have not given up double digits for four
in a row since 1949.