Cabrera’s sacrifice fly in the fourth ended Montreal’s 42-inning scoreless streak against Florida, and Jose Vidro hit a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth to lead the Expos to a 2-1 victory over the Marlins on Friday night.
Tony Armas Jr. pitched five strong innings for Montreal, which played its first game at Olympic Stadium in four weeks.
The Expos had been shut out in each of their last four games against the Marlins, but Cabrera’s sac fly off Brad Penny tied the game at 1 and put Montreal on the scoreboard against Florida—finally.
“It’s just good to get ahead of Penny,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “He’s a tough customer. He didn’t have his good stuff tonight and they still couldn’t do much with it.”
It was the longest such streak in the majors since the California Angels shut out Cleveland over 44 consecutive innings in 1966, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The New York Highlanders had a major league-record 45-inning scoreless streak against Boston in 1906.
“I don’t think anybody here knows that,” Cabrera said. “He’s just another pitcher and I don’t think he used all his stuff today. He was just throwing fastballs and sinkers. I think he threw a couple of breaking pitches but he didn’t throw them for strikes, and the couple of guys that we got on base, we drove them in.”
“It was one of those nights where we couldn’t come through with the big hit,” Pierre said. “We had a lot of opportunities.”
Montreal took the lead on Vidro’s one-out double in the fifth. Brad Wilkerson hit a leadoff single and, one out later, scored from first as Vidro’s drive to left-center went to the wall.
Armas (2-3) allowed three hits and one run in five-plus innings. He struck out five and walked three, leaving after walking Mike Lowell to begin the sixth.
“My shoulder was a little bit tight from the beginning, so I just battled through the whole way,” said Armas, who had season-ending shoulder surgery last May. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Florida used its speed to open the scoring in the first as Pierre stole home on the back end of a double steal with Luis Castillo. Pierre is the sixth Marlins player to accomplish the feat.
Pierre hit a leadoff single off Armas to start the game and advanced to third on Castillo’s single. Castillo stole second as Mike Lowell struck out on a 3-2 pitch.
Pierre broke for home on catcher Brian Schneider’s throw, which was cut off by second baseman Vidro, whose return throw was too late to get Pierre despite Schneider’s effort to block the plate.
“It wasn’t a set play or anything,” Pierre said. “I was just reading the catcher and pretty much took off.”
Penny (8-8), who entered with an 11-3 career mark and a 2.19 ERA overall against Montreal, allowed five hits and two runs in six innings. He walked four and struck out one.
“Their bullpen came in and did a great job,” Penny said. “They pitched better than us tonight, a couple of bad pitches cost us the ballgame.”
Schneider was tagged for the third out of the fourth as he lay on the dirt just short of second base after colliding with shortstop Alex Gonzalez.
Manager Frank Robinson came running out of the dugout as assistant trainer Tim Abraham rushed to attend to Schneider, who sat dazed for a few minutes before leaving the field with Abraham.
“I got hit and it didn’t even register to go to the bag,” Schneider said. “I didn’t know if I was out or safe when they hit me. I just kind of felt out of it a little bit.”
Pierre is the first Marlins player to steal home since Andy Fox accomplished the feat against New York on June 2, 2002. Preston Wilson stole home twice with Florida. … Schneider bruised his lower neck, and is day to day.