Los Angeles has won three in a row and five of six to move two games over .500 for the first time this year.
The Dodgers squandered a four-run lead Friday before Fred McGriff’s 482nd career homer in the eighth inning lifted them to a 9-5 win over the Expos.
“It was a big home run for us,” said McGriff. “They came back and tied the game. If they had won this game I think it would have hurt us a bit, having had the lead. It was a big game for us.”
The Dodgers’ offense appears to have come to life. After scoring two runs or fewer 14 times in its first 34 games, Los Angeles has 13 runs in its last two contests.
Montreal had its three-game winning streak snapped, and is hoping Saturday’s starter, Javier Vazquez, can help begin another one.
The right-hander is coming off his worst outing of the year, allowing a season-high five runs and six hits over six innings in a 6-2 loss at St. Louis on Sunday. He had yielded two runs over 14 innings in his previous two starts.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 2nd place, 7 GB, NL West. Expos - 2nd place, 2 GB, NL East.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Darren Dreifort (2-3, 3.41 ERA). Dreifort is coming off his best effort of the season. He allowed one run and four hits over six innings in a 4-1 win over the Pirates on Saturday. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 12 career appearances, including five starts, against the Expos.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Vazquez (3-2, 3.15 ERA). Vazquez is 2-4 with a 3.43 ERA in seven career starts against the Dodgers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Dave Roberts, .303 avg., 12 SBs and 20 runs; Shawn Green, Adrian Beltre and McGriff, 4 HRs; McGriff and Green, 17 RBIs. Expos - Jose Vidro, .344 avg.; Vladimir Guerrero, 6 HRs and 25 runs; Brad Wilkerson, 27 RBIs; Guerrero and Endy Chavez, 4 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - OF Daryle Ward is 5-for-15 in his career against RHP Vazquez, including team-best totals of three homers and seven RBIs. … Los Angeles has scored just two runs combined in RHP Dreifort’s three losses this season, getting shut out twice. … OF Brian Jordan is hitting .440 (11-for-25) in his career against RHP Vazquez. Expos - 3B Fernando Tatis is 4-for-8 against RHP Dreifort in his career, including team-best totals of two home runs and five RBIs. … LF Wilkerson is hitting .469 over his last nine games, going 15-for-32 with seven doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs. He has raised his average from .257 to .324. … OF Guerrero has just three hits in 14 career at-bats against RHP Dreifort.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 10-10 on the road; Expos - 13-7 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (neck), 15-day DL; OF Chad Hermansen (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Paul Shuey (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Expos - RHP Tony Armas Jr. (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (rotator cuff), 15-day DL.
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