Expos 4, Phillies 0

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MONTREAL (AP)—The Philadelphia Phillies hope keeping their composure will improve their record on a long and dreary road trip.

The Phillies lost 4-0 to the Montreal Expos on Thursday, extending their losing streak to six games.

Philadelphia, which fell to 1-9 on a season-high 13-game road trip, begins a three-game series in New York on Friday with Kevin Millwood facing the Mets.

“It’s discouraging but anger will make you impatient,” catcher Todd Pratt said. “We have a game (Friday). We have our ace going so we’ll start from there.”

At 71-64, the Expos moved into a virtual four-way tie for first place in the wild-card standings later in the evening after Houston and St. Louis moved into a tie in the NL Central at 70-63, the same record as Florida and Philadelphia.

“Give them credit, they’re playing good right now. We’re not playing good,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.

With an enthusiastic crowd of 20,030 on hand, Javier Vazquez (12-8) extended his scoreless streak to 26 innings and Vladimir Guerrero homered for the third time in four games as Montreal finished its first four-game sweep of the Phillies.

The Expos won their fifth straight overall, and ninth in a row at home.

The series drew a total of 83,145, including a fan who jumped onto the field in the left-field corner with two outs in the eighth and ran along the warning track waving a broom overhead.

Security guards chased him across the outfield, finally catching him at the wall in right-center before rushing him off the field.

He wasn’t the only fan excited about the sweep. After the game, about a dozen brooms were thrown onto the field.

“It felt great to have the fans backing us in this series,” Guerrero said as third base coach Manny Acta translated. “Hopefully, we can continue to win and they’ll continue to support us and keep showing up at the stadium.”

Vazquez scattered four hits over eight innings, striking out 10 to increase his season total to 205—second in the NL to Chicago’s Kerry Wood.

Vazquez pitched a three-hitter against San Francisco on Aug. 18 for his first shutout in nearly two years, and allowed three hits over nine innings in his last start, a 1-0, 10-inning loss in San Diego.

Luis Ayala pitched a perfect ninth, finishing Montreal’s ninth shutout of the season.

Guerrero homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot off Amaury Telemaco (1-2) in the first that put Montreal up 3-0. It came one out after Orlando Cabrera’s RBI double.

Guerrero, who also homered in the series opener, was summoned for a curtain call after reaching 20 homers for the sixth straight season.

The Expos are 36-17 at Olympic Stadium this season but will play just six of their remaining 27 games there. Montreal begins a 13-game trip Friday in Florida which includes a six-game “homestand” in Puerto Rico from Sept. 5-11.

“We have to play where the schedule calls for us to play, and the schedule calls for us to play in Puerto Rico,” manager Frank Robinson said. “If you ask me would I love to have the games here for these fans—you bet. But the schedule’s been set, it was set before the season started and we have tocomplete those games down there.”

Notes

Phillies 1B Jim Thome was originally scheduled to be rested but asked Bowa to put him in the lineup following Wednesday’s 9-6 loss. … The Expos swept a four-game series against San Francisco from Aug. 15-18. Montreal also swept four games against the New York Mets from April 11-14 in Puerto Rico. … The Expos are 7-0 when they draw at least 20,000 at home. … Montreal purchased LHP Vic Darensbourg’s contract from Triple-A Edmonton following thegame. LHP Eric Knott was sent outright to Edmonton.

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