Rockies 6, Expos 3, 11 innings

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MONTREAL (AP)—Greg Norton’s latest pinch hit was one of his biggest of the season.

Norton came through with a three-run homer in the 11th inning and the Colorado Rockies beat the Montreal Expos 6-3 Tuesday night.

Colorado ended a three-game skid and improved to 20-42 on the road this season. The Rockies are 2-7 in extra-inning games.

“I think we needed that,” Norton said. “We played a good game. Our bullpen was unbelievable. (Chin-hui) Tsao pitched well and we need as many as we can on the road and at home. We just need wins.”

Vladimir Guerrero homered for the second night in a row and drove in three runs for the Expos.

Montreal, which had won five straight at home, lost its sixth in eight to fall to 60-60.

“We had opportunities, but we just didn’t cash in on them,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “These are games we have to win.”

Larry Walker hit a leadoff single in the 11th off Expos closer Rocky Biddle (3-5), who was working his second inning.

Walker advanced on a wild pitch and, after Jay Payton fouled out on a bunt attempt, Charles Johnson walked.

Both runners advanced on Juan Uribe’s grounder to third before Norton hit Biddle’s 1-1 pitch high down the right-field line, just inside the net that serves as a foul pole at Olympic Stadium.

“I hit the ball really high so initially I didn’t know if it was going to get out of there, but it stayed pretty straight all the way down the line and creeped over,” Norton said.

Norton, who leads the majors with 16 pinch hits, has three homers and 12 RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season.

“That’s a tough job to do and he does it as good as anybody,” Payton said.

Brian Fuentes (3-1) pitched the 10th for the win, narrowly avoiding the loss when Jose Vidro’s two-out drive struck high up the right-field wall for a double.

Guerrero was intentionally walked for the second straight plate appearance and Orlando Cabrera flied out to end the threat.

“We left a lot of people on base and we just couldn’t get the job done,” Cabrera said.

Javier Lopez worked a perfect 11th for his first career save.

“Our bullpen was just nails,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Trailing 3-1 after Colorado scored twice in the sixth, Guerrero hit a two-run shot off Chin-hui Tsao in the bottom half.

It was Guerrero’s 224th career homer, moving him within one of Andre Dawson’s team record.

Guerrero hit an RBI double off the center-field wall in the third to tie it at 1.

Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the first on Todd Helton’s RBI single off Tomo Ohka. Preston Wilson broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth with a run-scoring single for his NL-leading 113th RBI and, one out later, Payton hit an RBI single to make it 3-1.

Tsao, the majors’ first Taiwanese pitcher, remained undefeated in four starts, allowing five hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings.

Ohka struck out six through the first five innings, retiring 14 of 15 batters between Helton’s RBI single and Ronnie Belliard’s leadoff double in the sixth.

Belliard hit a one-out single off Biddle in the 10th. Belliard advanced to second on Chris Stynes’ grounder and Helton was intentionally walked.

After getting ahead 1-2 on Wilson, Biddle threw inside and Wilson raised his arms, motioning to plate umpire Bruce Froemming that he had been hit on the right forearm.

Froemming disagreed, prompting Hurdle to come out of the dugout to argue, tono avail. Wilson flied out on Biddle’s next pitch to end the threat.


Tsao, who is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA, drew some supporters among the crowd of 7,277. A number of Taiwanese flags were waved in the box seats and stands behind the Rockies’ dugout. … The Rockies are 8-13 against the NL East this season. … Dawson hit 225 of his 438 career homers with Montreal from1976-86.

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