Montreal (71-67) at Florida (73-63)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL, US
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Mon Sep 1, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It didn’t take long for the Florida Marlins to find an offensive replacement for injured All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell.

Florida could have former Marlin Jeff Conine in the lineup when it concludes its four-game series with the visiting Montreal Expos.

The Marlins acquired Conine, a 13-year veteran who can play both corner infield spots and the outfield, from the Baltimore Orioles late Sunday night, just ahead of the midnight deadline for setting postseason rosters. Florida sent 20-year-old right-handers Denny Bautista and Don Levinski to Baltimore.

Lowell, the Marlins’ leader with 32 homers and 105 RBIs, was lost for at least the regular season after breaking his right hand Saturday night.

Conine, a member of the Marlins’ 1997 World Series championship team, batted .290 with 15 home runs and 80 RBIs this season with the Orioles, and is a lifetime .288 hitter with 837 RBIs.

Florida is tied with the Philadelphia Phillies atop the NL wild card standings. Players had to be on a team’s roster by Aug. 31 in order to be eligible for the postseason.

The Marlins come in with three straight wins, including a 5-3 victory on Sunday. Ivan Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a double, and Derrick Lee hit a three-run homer for Florida.

“They can win without one guy,” Lowell said. “They know that, and we saw it today.”

Montreal, which fell three games behind in the wild-card race, has lost 17 of 21 on the road since the All-Star break.

“It’s tough to understand sometimes why we don’t win on the road,” outfielder Brad Wilkerson said. “It’s not one thing; it’s a bunch of different things. If somebody can figure it out, I wish they’d come tell me.”

Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer, and Wilkerson went 2-for-4 Sunday for Montreal, which entered the series on a five-game winning streak.

STANDINGS: Expos - 4th place, 17 GB, NL East. Marlins - 2nd place (tied), 14 GB, NL East.

EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomo Ohka (8-10, 4.57 ERA). Ohka gave up four earned runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings of the Expos’ 9-6 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday, but did not receive a decision for his fifth straight start. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.45 ERA in six career starts against Florida.

MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Brad Penny (11-10, 4.19 ERA). Penny gave up four earned runs and eight hits in four innings of a 4-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, his fourth defeat in seven decisions. The right-hander has dominated Montreal in his career, going 8-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .322 avg.; Guerrero, 22 HRs; Orlando Cabrera, 71 RBIs, 87 runs and 21 SBs. Marlins - Luis Castillo, .326 avg. and 87 runs; Lowell, 32 HRs and 105 RBIs; Juan Pierre, 57 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 11-5.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - The Expos have scored at least three runs in just six of 21 road games since the All-Star break. … 1B Wil Cordero, who went 0-4 Sunday, has just one hit in his last 20 at-bats. … LHP Vic Darensbourg, who signed with the Expos as a minor league free agent on July 28, made his debut Sunday and allowed a hit in two-thirds of an inning against his former team. Marlins - INF-OF Conine’s two best major league seasons came with Florida when he hit .302 with 25 homers and 105 RBIs in 1995, and .293 with 26 home runs and 95 RBIs the following year. … Marlins pitchers have recorded 32 strikeouts in the first three games of this series. … RHP Penny is 4-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 11 home starts this season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 25-44 on the road; Marlins - 43-25 at home.

INJURIES: Expos - C Michael Barrett (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Scott Stewart (appendicitis), 15-day DL; RHP Claudio Vargas (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Fernando Tatis (chest), 60-day DL. Marlins - OF Todd Hollandsworth (back), 15-day DL; LHP Armando Almanza (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Tommy Phelps (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendix), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Kevin Olsen (concussion), 60-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Ohka TOR vs. B. Penny TOR
10-12 Record 14-10
4.16 ERA 4.13
118 K 138
45 BB 56
1.40 WHIP 1.28