Expos 5, Mets 1

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MONTREAL (AP)—Livan Hernandez could be on his way to a career year.

Hernandez won his fourth straight decision and Wil Cordero homered to lead the Montreal Expos to a 5-1 win over the New York Mets on Thursday night.

Hernandez (10-6) improved to 4-0 in five July starts, becoming the first Expos pitcher to reach double digits in wins.

“It’s my best season, right now,” said Hernandez, who had a career-high 17 wins with San Francisco in 2000. “I won nine games in the first half, and now I’ve got one win and I throw better in the second half of the season.”

Vladimir Guerrero, who returned from a herniated disk Monday, went 2-for-3 with a walk, including a two-run single off Tom Glavine (6-11) in the first.

“That guy’s not 100 percent and you saw what happened today,” Hernandez said. “He had two basehits and he plays hard. He’s a horse.”

After Cliff Floyd’s run-scoring grounder in the fourth cut Montreal’s lead to 2-1, Cordero hit a two-run shot in the sixth to put the Expos up by three.

Hernandez allowed seven hits and one run in 7 2-3 innings, leaving after consecutive singles by Jose Reyes and Jason Phillips.

Left-hander Eric Knott walked Floyd to load the bases before Luis Ayala came on to get Ty Wigginton on a grounder back to the mound, bringing a loud cheer from the crowd of 9,337.

Hector Almonte started the ninth and got one out, but he also walked two, prompting manager Frank Robinson to bring in Rocky Biddle for the final two outs and his 24th save in 29 chances.

“In the eighth and ninth inning, in those situations you can’t come in throwing balls, you’ve got to throw strikes,” Robinson said. “Late in the ballgame you can’t afford to give up walks. That’s the only thing that made it a little dicey.”

Glavine lost for the eighth time in his last nine decisions, allowing eight hits and four runs in six innings.

“Even though we gave up two runs in the first, I thought Tommy pitched well,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “He made one mistake maybe to Cordero that gave them a 4-1 lead but he pitched a solid game for us. We just didn’t get the big hit.”

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has a 7.06 ERA over his last 11 starts, raising his overall ERA from 3.41 to 5.15.

“I felt good out there tonight,” Glavine said. “Once again, I felt like I had good stuff. It’s getting old.”

New York, which ended a 2-6 road trip, has lost 12 of 15.

Phillips had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Jose Macias hit a one-out double in the first. After Orlando Cabrera walked, Guerrero singled to right, taking a wide turn at first as Macias scored. Right fielder Raul Gonzalez’s throw to second sent Guerrero scrambling back to first while Cabrera scored Montreal’s second run well ahead of shortstop Reyes’ throw home.

Hernandez allowed one hit while keeping the Mets scoreless through three before New York got something going in the fourth.

Reyes and Phillips hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, but Reyes took too wide a turn on Phillips’ hit and center fielder Brad Wilkerson threw behind him to catch him between second and third.

Reyes was caught, but remained in a rundown long enough for Phillips to take second. Phillips then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Floyd’s RBI grounder to first.

Guerrero led off the sixth with a single, and one out later Cordero hit a towering drive down the left-field line for his 10th homer, making it 4-1.

After the Expos escaped the bases-loaded jam in the eighth, Michael Barrett hit a two-out RBI double off Graeme Lloyd in the bottom half to increase thelead to four.

Notes

The Mets will host “Gary Carter Night” on Tuesday. Carter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with Eddie Murray, who played for New York in 1992-93. Prior to their game against Milwaukee, the Mets will honor Carter, who helped lead them to their last World Series title in 1986. The Expos, who traded Carter to New York following the 1984 season, will honor him Aug. 2. … The Expos improved to 20-12 at Olympic Stadium. … Hernandez has pitched into the eighth inning in each of his lastfive starts.

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