Mets 5, Expos 4

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MONTREAL (AP)—Steve Trachsel and Daniel Garcia made sure the New York Mets finally got a win.

Trachsel tied a career high with his 15th win and Garcia homered and had three RBIs as New York ended a season-high eight-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Montreal Expos on Saturday night.

“It’s about time we got one on this side of the ledger,” Mets manager Art Howe said.

Montreal, which had won 10 straight at Olympic Stadium, ended a three-game winning streak overall. The Expos are 37-18 in Montreal this season.

Garcia, called up from Triple-A Norfolk on Sept. 2, hit a run-scoring grounder off Javier Vazquez (12-11) in the seventh, beating out a possible double play at first to put the Mets ahead.

“He’s the kind of player that grows on you,” Howe said. “I mean, he doesn’t do any one thing outstanding but he plays baseball and he plays it well.”

He hit his second homer in three games following Roger Cedeno’s leadoff double in the first.

“Any offense for us lately is good offense and we haven’t had too much early offense so it was kind of nice to get us a little boost,” Garcia said.

Trachsel (15-9), who had 15 wins with the Chicago Cubs in 1998, moved ahead of Al Leiter for the team lead in victories in his second attempt at matching his career high.

He allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings, improving to 6-2 in his last eight starts.

“I’m a better pitcher but I don’t know that I’m throwing any better than I did that year,” Trachsel said. “I think back then—when I won 15 that year— if I had gone out and had the stuff I had tonight I definitely would have folded it and probably only gone three innings and given up eight or nine runs.”

David Weathers followed with two innings, getting help from shortstop Jorge Velandia’s nifty footwork on an inning-ending double-play grounder by Endy Chavez in the eighth to keep the tying run from scoring.

Mike Stanton got the first two outs in the ninth and Grant Roberts came on for the final out for his first career save.

The Expos had won 15 of 16 in Montreal since July 31, losing for the first time in over a month with a crowd of 15,086 on hand. The Expos hadn’t lost at Olympic Stadium since a 6-3, 11-inning loss to Colorado on Aug. 12.

“We let one get away,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “They got the job done, we didn’t.”

After Garcia’s first-inning home run made it 2-0, Montreal came back with three in the bottom half to take a 3-2 lead.

Orlando Cabrera hit his third straight single to score Brad Wilkerson and put Montreal up 4-3 in the fifth, but was caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out after taking too wide a turn at first.

Garcia singled to begin the sixth and Timo Perez got his second straight tying RBI with a run-scoring double to the right-field corner.

Velandia walked to begin the seventh and advanced to second on Jeff Duncan’s sacrifice. Chavez misplayed pinch-hitter Matt Watson’s bloop to center into a double with Velandia holding at third.

“As soon as I hit it I thought it was going to be just a routine flyball to center field,” Watson said of his first career hit. “I was glad it fell in. I’ll take it any day.”

Cedeno was intentionally walked and Garcia beat out a potential double-play grounder to third baseman Todd Zeile to drive in the go-ahead run.

Vazquez allowed seven hits and five runs in seven innings, losing his third straight September start after going 4-1 with a 1.15 ERA in August.

“It didn’t seem like he ever got into a comfortable groove out there on the mound,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “He made some pitches they wereable to capitalize on.”

Notes

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu and defenseman Sheldon Souray took in the game from the box seats behind the Mets’ dugout. … Trachsel improved to 9-4 against the Expos in 21 career appearances. … Vladimir Guerrero fouled a drive off the stadium’s concrete rim before lining out in thethird.

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