Angels 11, Expos 2
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—After playing two games at cozy Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Garret Anderson had only one word to describe the hitter-friendly park.
“Small. Not to be short and blunt, but I can’t describe it any other way,” he said. “Too small probably.”
Troy Glaus and Brad Fullmer also connected for the World Series champion Angels, who set a club record with seven homers in the game and matched a mark for AL teams set by the 1939 New York Yankees with 13 homers in two games.
“Oddly enough, the last two games are not indicative of our style of play,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re not a team that sits back and pounds the ball for home runs. We play a situational type of game. These two days, we’ve put good swings on the ball and our shots are going out of the ballpark.”
Anaheim’s hitters feel right at home in Montreal’s part-time home, with 26 runs and 39 hits in the first two games. The Angels have won four straight to move two games over .500 for the second time this season.
The Expos, who have lost five in a row and eight of nine, dropped their third straight game in San Juan dating to the finale of a 10-game trip in April—allowing 19 home runs in those games.
“Everything is going wrong,” Montreal’s Jose Vidro said. “We have to keep our confidence. There’s a lot of baseball left. The team that’s here is the one that was winning ballgames at the beginning of the season. We have to try to find a way that back to winning.”
There have been 49 homers in the first 12 games at the stadium, where it’s 399 feet to center, 315 to left and 313 to right.
Anderson connected for two-run shots in the first and third innings against Sun-Woo Kim (0-1) and added a solo homer in the eighth off Joey Eischen for his first career three-homer game and the 11th in Angels’ history. Anderson also homered Tuesday.
“The last one was a nothing swing,” Anderson said. “It wouldn’t be gone in Anaheim. The park is small and the ball flies too. That’s a bad combination.”
DaVanon hit a solo shot in the sixth inning off Dan Smith and a two-run homer in the eighth off Eischen, giving him six homers in the past three games. That’s one shy of the record last achieved by Los Angeles’ Shawn Green in May 2002.
“It was incredible the first game. This is out of this world,” DaVanon said. “We’ve had some tough days at the ball field so you have to enjoy the good ones.”
The crowd of 10,051 was below the average of 11,338 in Montreal, but easily eclipsed the biggest Wednesday crowd at Olympic Stadium, 6,380 for the second game there this season.
While the Angels’ hitters have made this stadium look like a Little League field, their pitchers have done a good job keeping the Expos in the park.
Jarrod Washburn (6-5) allowed one run and five hits in six innings, and Anaheim has only given up two homers in the two games.
“I get in trouble when I try to do different things. I try to take the stadium out of the process and just pitch my game,” Washburn said. “If they hit home runs, there’s nothing I can do. I just want to throw strikes and make them put the ball in play.”
Kim, making his first appearance of the season, fared little better than Tuesday’s starter Tomo Ohka, who allowed five runs before getting the first out.
Kim got through the first without any trouble. But Glaus singled with one out in the second and scored on Fullmer’s fifth home run.
With two outs in the third, Kim walked Tim Salmon, and Anderson followed with his ninth home run to make it 4-0. Anderson hit another two-run shot in the fifth to knock out Kim, who allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings.
“The same thing that happened last night occurred again tonight,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “This time on a greater level.”
Robinson juggled his lineup to try to get his team out of its recent rut. Orlando Cabrera batted leadoff for the first time this season, Jose Macias got his seventh start of the year in left field and catcher Michael Barrett played for the first time in a week.
Macias homered in the fifth inning for Montreal’s first run but the Expos couldn’t generate much else. Montreal has scored just 22 runs the past ninegames.
Cincinnati has the major league record with 14 homers in two games on Sept. 4-5, 1999. … The Expos last lost five straight July 19-23 last season. … DaVanon is the first player to homer from both sides of the plate inconsecutive games since Ken Caminiti did it for San Diego in September 1995.
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