Expos 3, Brewers 2
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP)—Few teams are playing as well right now as— guess who?—the Montreal Expos.
“We’re starting to play some good baseball,” said Brad Wilkerson, who had one of three RBI singles for the Expos. “As everyone knows, it’s a lot more fun when you win.”
Day (3-4) kicked off Montreal’s six-game homestand in San Juan by holding the Brewers to one run in six innings. It was the seventh time in eight starts this season that he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer.
What the Expos had been missing was offense, but they got enough this time. Wilkerson, Juan Rivera and Brian Schneider each hit an RBI single off Doug Davis (3-3) to help the Expos win for the seventh time in 11 games.
“Whenever you give up a run, you’ve got to have the mentality that it’s not the end of the world,” Day said. “It’s nice to know that you can give up a run like I did tonight and your teammates can come right out and get it back.”
Rocky Biddle allowed one hit in the ninth inning to earn his ninth save in 10 tries.
Although modest, this is Montreal’s first four-game winning streak since last September—not bad for a team that could barely string two hits together through most of April.
The victory followed a three-game sweep over Arizona, which got a perfect game from Randy Johnson on Tuesday night to stay 1 1/2 games ahead of the Expos, who have the NL’s worst record.
Despite that, things are surely looking up for Montreal.
The Expos got outfielder Carl Everett, out for 30 games with a shoulder injury, back in the lineup. Also Tuesday, Nick Johnson—who along with Everett was a major offseason signing—began his rehab assignment in Class A Broward County, Fla.
Last weekend, the Expos and Jose Vidro agreed to a long-term contract, and Vidro said they were the team he wanted to be with despite Montreal’s instability.
The Expos are playing 22 home games in San Juan for the second straight year and don’t know where they’ll call home next season.
The beginning of their second stint in Puerto Rico this season wasn’t met with huge fanfare. Only 8,387 came to 18,000-seat Hiram Bithorn Stadium, not a whole lot better than the Expos draw in Montreal, the home they’re expected to leave after this season, assuming major league baseball can find them a new owner and city.
Everett, who was injured diving head first into second base the last time the Expos were in San Juan, went 1-for-3 and made a nice catch in left field, going to the ground to make the grab and keep Milwaukee from scoring with two on and two outs in the fifth.
Day threw 105 pitches and allowed eight hits. This was his first win since April 25 against the Phillies. A groundball pitcher, Day induced two double-play balls on the slow, artificial surface.
“He’s a double-play pitcher, a ground-ball guy,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “With the slow infield and the way he was throwing, it played out perfect for him.”
Milwaukee’s Lyle Overbay singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, but the Brewers left 11 men on base, including two who Overbay couldn’t bring home during two-out at-bats in the fifth and seventh innings.
“This is a game where you’re real successful if you get three hits out of seven,” Yost said. “It just shows you how tough this game is to play, and yougo from there.”
Expos manager Frank Robinson made a pregame decision to move Everett from right to left field in hopes of protecting his arm, which is still sore from the injury. … Vidro went 0-for-4 and is 0-for-8 since agreeing to a four-year contract extension late last Friday. … RHP Mike Adams made his major league debut for the Brewers, throwing a hitless inning. Adams traveled from Rochester, N.Y., to San Juan on Monday after getting called up from the minors. … Montreal got outscored 17-0 by Florida last month in its threeprevious games in Puerto Rico.