Expos 6, Marlins 4

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MONTREAL (AP)—Javier Vazquez took advantage of a big inning to get his first win in nearly a month.

Brian Schneider homered and Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run double to key a four-run fourth inning, leading the Montreal Expos over the Florida Marlins 6-4 Tuesday night.

Vazquez (4-2) won for the first time in five starts since April 24, and Montreal won for the sixth time in its last eight games.

“He’s usually battling for his life out there in a close ballgame,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “Tonight we gave him a little margin to work with, and he did quite well.”

Mike Lowell hit his 14th homer for Florida, which has lost four straight. Derrek Lee homered in the ninth off Rocky Biddle.

Florida, playing without catcher Ivan Rodriguez, dropped to 3-5 under new manager Jack McKeon. Rodriguez went to Puerto Rico to be with his mother-in-law, who is ill.

Schneider led off the fourth with his fourth homer, putting Montreal ahead 3-2. Vazquez singled and took third on Endy Chavez’s double, which chased rookie Dontrelle Willis (1-1).

Blaine Neal relieved and Cabrera hit a two-run double, the Expos’ fifth double of the game.

“That was a big hit, right there,” Robinson said. “There were a couple of big hits in the inning but that was a real big one that got us going.”

Jose Vidro’s RBI single made it 6-2 and Vladimir Guerrero singled for Montreal’s sixth straight hit.

“That was clutch hitting,” Schneider said. “I hope to think that I got something started there which maybe rattled Willis a little bit. He’s got good stuff and he came into the game throwing the ball really well. We did a good job of adjusting after the first time through the lineup and that was the key to tonight’s game.”

Vazquez allowed seven hits and three runs—two earned—in seven innings, and Biddle pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.

“It’s a good thing when you’ve got a lot of runs,” Vazquez said. “You know you can make one mistake, like I did to Lowell, and I don’t have that pressure that I need to be perfect every pitch.”

Willis gave up five runs and eight hits in three-plus innings, the shortest of three starts since he was brought up from Double-A on May 9.

“Most of the basehits were when he was pitching from behind, but he’s young and hopefully he can correct it,” McKeon said.

Juan Encarnacion’s RBI grounder put Florida ahead in the first. The Marlins’ Todd Hollandsworth was tagged out in a rundown after he was caught off second following a leadoff double in the second. He left the game one inning later because of a tight right hamstring.

Montreal tied it in the bottom half on Chavez’s run-scoring grounder, and Guerrero and Wil Cordero hit consecutive doubles in the third for a 2-1 lead.

Florida tied it in the fourth when Lee scored from first as Macias misplayedAlex Gonzalez’s double to the left-field corner for an error.


Vazquez, who threw 64 pitches through the first three innings, got two outs with two pitches to begin the fourth. … Chad Allen, who replaced Hollandsworth in left to begin the third, made a diving catch on Cabrera’s fly to end the eighth. … McKeon doesn’t expect Rodriguez to rejoin the team before a three-game series at Cincinnati beginning Friday. “He said he’d get back as soon as he could but he just got there,” McKeon said. … Vazquezthrew 127 pitches, 89 for strikes.

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