Dodgers 2, Expos 1
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Once again, daring baserunning boosted the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dave Roberts made a mad dash from first base on Cesar Izturis’ second RBI double of the game and Odalis Perez outlasted Montreal’s Zach Day to win his fourth straight start as the Dodgers won 2-1 on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, Alex Cora took a chance and scored the tying run in the ninth inning on a slowly hit grounder. The Dodgers went on to beat Montreal in the 10th.
This time, the score was tied at 1 in the eighth when Roberts beat out a bunt single with two outs. Izturis followed with a line drive into the right-field corner, and Roberts never broke stride as third-base coach Glenn Hoffman waved him home.
“I was just running for my life and hoping Hoffy would send me,” said Roberts, showing no signs of the hamstring problems that landed him on the disabled list twice this season. “The way we’ve been going, you’ve got to push the envelope and force the opponent to make a play.”
Second baseman Henry Mateo took the relay from Vladimir Guerrero and made a perfect throw to the plate. But Roberts and the ball got there simultaneously, and the ball rolled away from catcher Brian Schneider.
“I saw their third-base coach wave him, so I knew it would be a close play at the plate,” Schneider said. “I was in position, but the throw short-hopped me. Once I turned to get the ball I lost sight of Roberts and didn’t know how far away he was, and I never had control of the ball. It’s a tough way to lose.”
Guerrero hit his 226th home run for Montreal, passing Andre Dawson as the Expos’ career leader. Guerrero’s third-inning drive, his 17th this season, landed halfway up the left-field pavilion, an estimated 454 feet from home plate.
Guerrero was 3-for-4 against Perez after starting the day 2-for-15 against him.
“In the past, I got him out with pitches up and in and down and away. But he made the adjustment and hit the ball hard,” Perez said. “The home run pitch was supposed to be a sinker down and away, but it stayed on the inner half of the plate. He’s one of the best hitters in the game, so if you make a mistake against that guy, and he’s going to make you pay for it.”
Perez (10-9) allowed nine hits in eight innings, struck out six and walked none. All of Montreal’s hits came in the first five innings.
“We had three or four chances to get runs and couldn’t get the big hits— or even a sacrifice fly,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said.
“It just leaves no margin of error for the pitcher. He has to tightrope it out there, and you just can’t expect him to do it. To get the kind of pitching we got in the last two days and lose two ballgames, it’s a little hard to take,” he said.
Day (7-5) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He has given up just six earned runs in 32 2-3 innings over his last five starts. Facing the Dodgers for the first time, the right-hander retired his first 12 batters before Adrian Beltre singled leading off the fifth.
Los Angeles tied it in the sixth after Perez led off with his third hit in 45 at-bats. He was forced at second on a grounder by Roberts, who stole second and scored when Izturis doubled to right field over Guerrero’s outstretched glove.
“He was playing in a little bit because Roberts was at second and he would have to throw him out at home plate if I hit a single out there. But I hit the ball very good,” Izturis said.
Right fielder Shawn Green, the only Dodger to play in each of the team’s first 125 games, sat out because of a stiff neck that has bothered him since Tuesday. The injury forced him out of Wednesday night’s game after fourinnings.
Dodgers C Todd Hundley will leave Monday for Vero Beach, Fla., where he will begin a rehab assignment after missing more than 2 1/2 months because of surgery to repair a nerve in his back. … Green has missed only six of 612 games in his four seasons with the Dodgers—including Sept. 26, 2001, when he observed the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. That day off ended his consecutive-game playing streak at 415, which was the longest in the majors at the time. … The Expos dropped two of three to the Dodgers and have lost theirlast seven road series.