Expos 12, Padres 9, 10 innings

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MONTREAL (AP)—Vladimir Guerrero fought off a few fastballs and waited for something to hit.

When he got it, he didn’t miss.

Guerrero connected for a three-run homer in the 10th inning, giving the Montreal Expos a 12-9 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night.

“He’s one of the best players in the game and we just missed having him strike out,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “We couldn’t quite hang on to a foul tip and he got another pitch he could handle.”

The game drew 5,111, the smallest crowd at Olympic Stadium since last Sept. 12 against the New York Mets. San Diego has lost four straight and nine of 10.

With runners on first and second and one out, Guerrero homered off reliever Jaret Wright to give Montreal its fourth game-ending home run of the season.

“Every time he comes to the plate, if he doesn’t hit one out, he’s going to hit it hard somewhere,” Expos left fielder Brad Wilkerson said.

“He fought off two or three pretty good fastballs on a hard thrower and he came back with a slider. What can you say? If you give him a pitch in that situation, he’s going to take care of it.”

Trailing 9-7, San Diego tied it in the ninth on Ramon Vazquez’s two-run double off closer Rocky Biddle (3-1).

Biddle, who had converted all seven of his save opportunities this season, allowed consecutive singles to pinch-hitters Dave Hansen and Keith Lockhart to start the inning.

Both runners advanced on Mark Loretta’s sacrifice before scoring the tying runs on Vazquez’s one-hop double off the wall down the right-field line.

“I didn’t get the job done,” Biddle said. “I threw a couple of bad pitches. I blew it and I was able to recover and the guys picked me up. At least we won—that’s all that matters.”

Endy Chavez drew a walk from Jesse Orosco (0-1) to lead off the bottom of the 10th. Orlando Cabrera singled to center past diving second baseman Loretta, advancing Chavez to third.

Wright relieved and, with the infield in, got Jose Vidro to ground to Loretta, who threw home to get Chavez.

Guerrero, who hadn’t homered in his last 10 games, took a ball from Wright and fouled off four straight pitches before hitting his sixth homer for Montreal’s 10th extra-base hit of the game.

“They started the pattern by throwing me a lot of breaking balls,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “Then Wright came in and threw me a bunch of fastballs, and then he ended up changing the pattern and I got the right pitch to hit the ball.”

Wilkerson hit a two-run shot and had four RBIs, and Cabrera had four hits— including a homer and two doubles—to lead Montreal’s 16-hit outburst.

“You’re not happy when you score nine runs and you’re still fighting for your life,” Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. “A lot of things went wrong tonight. It was one of those ugly games, but you’re going to have those and hopefully you can put the majority in the win column.”

Wilkerson hit his fifth homer in the second inning and added a two-run double that capped a four-run fifth and gave Montreal a 7-4 lead.

San Diego tied it with three runs in the sixth, but Cabrera hit an RBI double—his third straight extra-base hit—off Luther Hackman in the bottom half to give the Expos the lead.

Vidro and Wil Cordero doubled twice for Montreal.

“It’s tough,” Lockhart said. “They’re a good hitting team. Those guys are swinging the bats, especially today.”

Ryan Klesko hit his ninth homer—a two-run drive in the first inning off Zach Day—for the Padres.

Wilkerson’s two-run double in the fifth gave the Expos a 6-4 lead, and Cordero made it 7-4 with Montreal’s fourth double of the inning.

Day, who pitched a three-hitter for his first career shutout in his last start, left with two on in the sixth. Xavier Nady hit an RBI single and Wiki Gonzalez’s two-run single tied it.

Day allowed six runs and five hits in five innings as his ERA rose from 1.94

Notes

Padres left fielder and former Expo Rondell White did not start but entered in the ninth. … Expos relievers had stranded 21 inherited runners in a row before Joey Eischen allowed Klesko and Mark Kotsay to score in the sixth.

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