Expos 5, Astros 2
“Any time you get two doubles off a future Hall of Famer, it’s big,” said Jamey Carroll, who had three hits against Clemens. “He’s one of the best pitchers of all time. The guy comes right after you. He throws hard.”
T.J. Tucker (2-1) allowed two hits and struck out three, pitching two innings in relief for the win.
“It was unbelievable to pitch against him,” Tucker said of Clemens. “He was a boyhood idol. I used to watch him pitch when he was in Toronto. I saw him once when he had his two young sons with him when I was 12 years old and I wanted to say something to them then, but I didn’t.
“You never think this sort of thing will happen to you. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
Clemens (12-4) went seven innings and allowed three runs—one earned—on eight hits. He struck out five and walked one, and had his first career two-hit game.
“I felt good,” Clemens said. “But it’s disappointing to lose to a team like Montreal. If you let them stick around like we did today, they’ll beat you.”
The win was Montreal’s fifth in its last eight games and gave the Expos a 13-10 record since the All-Star break.
“We’re hitting the ball better now,” Schneider said. “Earlier in the season, we got good pitching but didn’t hit well. Now we’re putting them together.”
Manager Frank Robinson has been impressed with his team’s play lately.
“It’s amazing,” Robinson said. “They’re putting it all together now. They’re playing winning baseball. I can’t say enough about them. They’re just playing nice and relaxed. They’re underdogs every day and they go out there like they don’t understand that.”
It was equally amazing to the Astros, who have lost six of their last 10.
“There is no question this hurts severely,” manager Phil Garner said. “Especially since we had them pitching out of their bullpen and they didn’t have a starter to go to. I’m at a loss. We just never got anything going.”
Houston fell to 11-12 since Garner took over after the All-Star break.
“It’s not pretty,” Garner said. “We’ve got to go on a big winning streak. We can’t just win eight of 10. We’ve got to win 10 of 10.”
The Astros next play the New York Mets, who were swept over the weekend at St. Louis.
“They’re probably glad to see us,” catcher Brad Ausmus said. “It’s something different every day. You can’t point your finger at anyone. It’s every facet of the game. We’re not out of it by any stretch, but we’re going to have to play our rears off.”
The game was tied at 1 in the seventh when the Expos rallied against Clemens.
With one out, second baseman Mike Lamb allowed Schneider to reach on an error and Jamey Carroll followed with a ground-rule double. Jose Vidro, pinch-hitting for Tucker, followed with an RBI single to give Montreal the lead and Endy Chavez singled in another run one out later.
Gonzalez and Schneider homered in the eighth off Dan Miceli to make it 5-1.
Pinch-hitter Ron Calloway tied it at 1 with an RBI single in the fifth.
Kim started in place of Tony Armas, who had a cortisone shot in his ailing right deltoid muscle last Thursday. Armas has missed two starts and is day to day. … Biggio was hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season. He ranks second all-time and first in the NL in career hit by pitches with 256.