Expos 4, Mets 3, 10 innings

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NEW YORK (AP)—Todd Zeile and the Montreal Expos refuse to be eliminated easily.

Zeile’s home run in the 10th inning lifted Montreal to a 4-3 victory over the Mets on Saturday, New York’s seventh straight loss.

The Expos remained mathematically alive in the NL playoff race—barely. They are six games behind Philadelphia, the wild-card leader, with six to play.

Zeile, a former Met, homered off Mike Stanton (2-7) with one out in the 10th.

“I was trying to fight in my at-bat,” Zeile said. “He tried to come in with it and got more of the plate.”

It was Zeile’s fifth homer for the Expos since joining the team Aug. 20. He had been released by the New York Yankees. Zeile batted .210 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 66 games for the Yankees this season.

The Montreal clubhouse was closed after the game for a meeting.

Chad Cordero (1-0), the Expos’ first-round draft pick in June out of Cal-State Fullerton, pitched a scoreless ninth for his first major league win. Rocky Biddle worked a hitless 10th for his 32nd save.

The stumbling Mets have lost 15 of 16. They also dropped seven straight to Philadelphia and Florida earlier this month.

The Mets blew a chance to take the lead in the eighth. Rookie pinch-runner Prentice Redman was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from first base on Timo Perez’s double with none out.

“I’m sure that came into Matty’s mind there,” New York manager Art Howe said of third-base coach Matt Galante. “But I also think he thought he had it made. That’s why he sent him.”

The Mets put two runners on in the ninth, but Joe McEwing and Mike Piazza flied out to end the inning.

Piazza, who went 1-for-5, has gone 71 at-bats without a home run.

“That’s the way it goes. I had a couple of good swings,” he said.

Montreal built a three-run lead in the second inning against Mets starter Aaron Heilman on a solo homer by Wil Cordero, his 15th of the season, and Endy Chavez’s two-run double.

The Mets answered in the bottom half on Jeff Duncan’s RBI single. Ty Wigginton singled in Tony Clark in the fourth, and Duncan drove in Wigginton with a single to tie the game.

Heilman lasted only four innings in his first appearance since Aug. 31, a 3-0 loss in relief to Philadelphia. He allowed three runs on four hits, walked four and struck out three.

“It was good to get back out there,” the rookie right-hander said. “I thought I threw the ball well, but I made a couple of mistakes that got hit. I tried to stay with the things I had success with in the past. But overall I felt good and it was good to pitch again.”

Dan Wheeler and John Franco each pitched a scoreless inning following Heilman’s departure. David Weathers added two scoreless innings.

Stanton escaped the ninth inning with two runners on, striking out Cordero to end the threat.

Livan Hernandez, who lasted only 3 1-3 innings in his last start against Atlanta, kept the Expos in the game. He allowed three runs and eight hits in eight innings and struck out nine.

“I feel good. I threw eight innings. It’s important that the team wins,” said Hernandez, who threw 138 pitches.

“He’s a good pitcher and he’s got good stuff,” said Duncan, who had a career-high three hits. “It’s too bad we couldn’t get on top of him. He threw some pitches right on the plate, but he battled through it and never gave us achance to get the lead.”

Notes

New York is 1-6 in extra-inning games. Montreal improved to 9-8. Timo Perez had three hits for the Mets. Cordero has earned his first major leaguesave and win during the last three games against the Mets.

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