The Expos came to New York on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention, but have won three straight to hold off that fate.
Todd Zeile’s home run in the 10th inning lifted Montreal to a 4-3 victory Saturday, handing the Mets their seventh straight loss.
The Expos remained mathematically alive in the NL wild-card race—barely. They are six games behind first-place Philadelphia with six to play.
Zeile, a former Met, homered off Mike Stanton (2-7) with one out in the 10th.
“I was trying to fight in my at-bat,” Zeile said. “He tried to come in with it and got more of the plate.”
It was Zeile’s fifth homer for the Expos since joining the team Aug. 20. He had been released by the New York Yankees. Zeile batted .210 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 66 games for the Yankees this season.
The stumbling Mets have lost 15 of 16. They also dropped seven straight to Philadelphia and Florida earlier this month.
“It’s very frustrating,” Mets catcher Mike Piazza said. “You go out and try to do the best you can. We were in a position to go ahead a couple of times and didn’t take advantage of them. It’s frustrating all the way around.”
STANDINGS: Expos - 4th place, 16 1/2 GB, NL East. Mets - 5th place, 32 1/2 GB, NL East.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomo Ohka (9-12, 4.52 ERA). In his last start, Ohka allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings of a 5-4 win over Atlanta, but didn’t figure in the decision. He’s made seven career starts against the Mets, going 1-4 with a 4.69 ERA.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Jae Weong Seo (8-12, 4.01 ERA). Seo has dropped four straight starts, despite allowing two earned runs or less in his last three. In his last outing, the rookie right-hander lost 3-2 at Chicago on Tuesday, allowing three runs—two earned runs—and five hits over six innings. Seo has faced Montreal four times this season, going 0-3 with a 7.23 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Vladimir Guerrero, .332 avg., 25 HRs; Guerrero and Orlando Cabrera, 79 RBIs; Cabrera, 94 runs and 24 SBs. Mets - Roger Cedeno, .268 avg.; Cliff Floyd, 18 HRs; Floyd and Ty Wigginton, 68 RBIs; Wigginton, 69 runs; Reyes and Cedeno, 13 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Expos, 13-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - SS Cabrera is 6-for-8 against RHP Seo this season. … RHP Ohka is 3-7 with a 5.42 ERA in 14 road starts. … OF Guerrero is 1-for-9 against RHP Seo this season. Mets - OF Timo Perez is 2-for-12 in his career against RHP Ohka. … Right-handed batters are hitting .296 against RHP Seo this season. … C Mike Piazza is 1-for-8 in his career against RHP Ohka.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 28-47 on the road; Mets - 32-44 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Fernando Tatis (chest), 60-day DL. Mets - SS Reyes (ankle), 60-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; OF Floyd (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL.