After emerging from his longest offensive slump of the season, Guerrero looks to continue his resurgence as the Expos aim to complete a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants at Pacific Bell Park.
Guerrero broke out of an 0-for-13 slump that encompassed three games by going 3-for-4 with a tiebreaking, two-run homer Tuesday as the Expos won 6-4, for their sixth victory in eight games.
The outfielder singled in the first, doubled in the third and homered in the seventh for the Expos, who moved nine games over .500 for the first time since July 17, 1997, when they were 51-42.
Guerrero, who hit .336 with 39 homers and 111 RBIs last season, enjoyed an offensive surge after his first slump of this season.
After going hitless in 11 at-bats from April 16-19, Guerrero broke out with three hits and five RBIs in a 9-5 win over Cincinnati in the second game of a doubleheader on the 19th.
He continued that outburst, and hit .357 (20-for-56) with three homers and 15 RBIs in 17 games inclusive before his latest slide began on Friday.
“The guy hits everything,” said Giants starter Kurt Ainsworth, who lost his third straight decision Tuesday. “You can’t make any sort of mistake. It’s hard to pitch around a guy like that.”
The National League’s top team after the first month of the season, the Giants have lost four straight for the first time since last Aug. 14-18.
STANDINGS: Expos - 2nd place, 3 GB, NL East. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Claudio Vargas (0-1, 3.57 ERA). Despite pitching well in his first three starts, Vargas is still searching for his first career victory. The 24-year-old right-handed rookie, who hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his outings, yielded three runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings Friday but didn’t figure in the decision of Montreal’s 9-5 loss to Los Angeles. Vargas makes his first career start against San Francisco.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Jesse Foppert (2-2, 5.18 ERA). After dropping his first two career starts, Foppert has won two straight, allowing a combined six runs and eight hits over 11 1-3 innings. The 22-year-old right-handed rookie is coming off one of the best starts of his young career in which he yielded two runs and five hits over six innings of Friday’s 9-2 win over Atlanta. Foppert makes his first career start against Montreal.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .333 avg.; Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera, 7 HRs and 27 runs; Brad Wilkerson, 27 RBIs; Guerrero and Endy Chavez, 4 SBs. Giants - Ray Durham, 309 avg. and 5 SBs; Jose Cruz, 24 RBIs and 30 runs; Barry Bonds, 10 HRs.
SEASON SERIES: Expos, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - 2B Vidro left the game before the fourth inning with a right groin strain sustained in a third-inning double play. His status for Wednesday’s game remains uncertain. … The Expos have scored in the 7th inning in seven straight games, tallying a total of 18 runs. … Montreal has won six of its last eight series. Giants - INF Alfonzo is batting (14-for-40) over his last 11 games with three doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. … San Francisco has outscored opponents by combined 87-33 in first three innings of games this season. … The Giants boast the best defense in the majors with a league-low 14 errors.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 10-7 on the road; Giants - 10-7 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - RHP Tony Armas Jr. (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL. Giants - INF Ray Durham (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Jason Christiansen (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL.