Expos 13, Rangers 10
Schneider drove in a career-high five runs with a homer and a three-run double as Montreal sent the Texas Rangers to their season-high seventh straight loss, 13-10 Friday night.
The Expos picked up where they left off Thursday, when they scored three runs in the 14th inning to beat Anaheim 8-7 and snap a five-game losing streak.
“You have to validate it,” manager Frank Robinson said. “The game last night wouldn’t have meant anything for us if we didn’t come back and win tonight.”
After being held to 22 runs while losing eight of nine games, the Expos have broken out for 21 runs in two days, setting a season high Friday.
Both big offensive games came after Montreal lost Guerrero with a herniated disc in his back that put him on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
“Everybody has to try to pick up the slack when you’re missing a guy like Vladimir,” Calloway said. “We’ve gotten some timely hits we weren’t getting before. We’re having better at-bats. Things are picking up for us.”
A sellout crowd of 18,005—the second largest in the 14 games in San Juan— came to watch local hero Juan Gonzalez. The fans got what they wanted when Gonzalez came up with the bases loaded in the first.
After a standing ovation, Gonzalez lined a ball off the top of the left-field wall to score two runs. Rafael Palmeiro was thrown out going to third on the play, leaving Gonzalez with a single.
Gonzalez added a run-scoring groundout in the ninth, giving him 1,363 in his career—two shy of Orlando Cepeda’s record for Puerto Rican natives.
“We’re in Puerto Rico. That’s the greatest thing to me,” Gonzalez said. “I feel happy to be here and to have the opportunity to put on a great show for the fans.”
And with two more games at cozy Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Gonzalez has a good chance to break the record at home.
There have been 57 homers and an average of 12.2 runs in the first 14 games at the ballpark, where it’s 399 feet to center, 315 to left and 313 to right.
Lewis retired the next two hitters before walking Calloway and Fernando Tatis, loading the bases.
Schneider then hit a hard grounder that went into the right-field corner for a bases-clearing double. Schneider went to third on the throw home and he tried to score when the relay got away from catcher Einar Diaz. But shortstop Alex Rodriguez hustled to retrieve the ball that was rolling toward the first-base dugout and threw him out.
“I came around third base and I saw the ball roll away from the catcher,” Schneider said. “(Third-base coach) Manny Acta said, ‘Go! Go! Go!’ It was hard to tell how fast the ball was rolling and how far it would go but with two outs I took the chance.”
After Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer in the second for Texas, walks did Lewis in again in the third. With two outs and a runner on third, he gave free passes to Tatis and Schneider. Hernandez made him pay, hitting a two-run single to make it 7-3.
“We gave a lot of walks and in this park you can’t allow that luxury,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “You have to make better pitches and concede fewer walks to be successful here.”
Lewis allowed seven runs, seven hits and four walks in three innings, raising his ERA to 10.31 in his last nine outings.
Schneider’s homer off Jay Powell followed another walk to Tatis and made the score 9-4 in the fifth.
Calloway’s fifth homer of the season was the big blow in a four-run sixth against Reynaldo Garcia that made it 13-4
Hernandez allowed five runs and nine hits, but in this stadium that’s not a bad night. He got help from his defense when Chavez made a long run to track down Diaz’s drive to left-center and doubled Teixeira off first to end the fifth.
“I tried to keep the ball down,” Hernandez said. “Texas is a team that has the most homers in the majors. In this stadium, you need to keep the ball down.”
This was the Rangers’ second game in Puerto Rico. They lost 8-1 to Toronto in the 2001 opener. … Hernandez had won once in his previous fivestarts.
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