Expos 8, Dodgers 7

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MONTREAL (AP)—Giovanni Carrara knew he was going to give up another run at some point this season. He just wished it hadn’t come in this situation.

Carrara walked Juan Rivera with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning Monday night, spoiling the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-run comeback and handing the Montreal Expos an 8-7 victory.

Including the eighth inning Monday, Carrara hadn’t allowed a run in 18 2-3 scoreless innings over his last 11 outings, which is a season high shutout streak for Dodger pitchers.

“It’s a tough loss after we came back that way,” he said. “All I can say is come back and win tomorrow.”

Trailing 7-1, Los Angeles scored four times in the seventh—keyed by Steve Finley’s three-run double off Joey Eischen. In the ninth, Adrian Beltre tied it at 7 with a two-run shot off closer Chad Cordero (4-3) for his 39th homer.

In the wake of three straight rough outings by All-Star closer Eric Gagne, Carrara (1-1)—who pitched a perfect eighth— fell victim to wildness in the bottom half. Carrara walked Tony Batista and Rivera on 3-2 pitches in consecutive at-bats with two outs after Brian Schneider’s one-out double and Brad Wilkerson’s intentional walk.

“I was trying to make a real good pitch and the last pitch I threw, it was outside,” Carrara said. “There’s nothing you can do about that.

With runners at first and second and one out, Carrara struck out Alex Gonzalez before Batista walked to load the bases, just after hitting a long foul on a 3-2 pitch.

“Schneider hit the double and we had to walk Wilkerson,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “(Carrara) did a great job with Gonzalez and everything he could do with Tony Batista.”

Rivera, who looped a 2-1 pitch just foul down the right-field line, worked a full count before Carrara missed low and away allowing Schneider to come home with the winning run.

“I was looking for a fastball, but he threw the slider out of the zone and I was able to lay off of it,” Rivera said through an interpreter. “I went in looking for one pitch and I never got it.”

Los Angeles, which began the day with a 4 1/2 -game lead over San Francisco atop the NL West, lost its second in a row, and fourth in six games to begin a season-high 13-game road trip.

“We had a good winning streak in the past, and a losing streak in the past. After that, we’ve been playing together, playing fine,” Dodgers starter Odalis Perez said. “If we’ve lost four out of six, we just have to regroup back and go back to business.”

Einar Diaz hit his first NL homer for Montreal, and Gonzalez and Wilkerson added two-run shots. All three homers came on the first pitch from Perez, who allowed seven runs and nine hits in four innings after entering 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his previous four August starts.

Diaz, acquired from Texas on April 3 and making his 28th start of the season, homered on Perez’s first pitch of the second to put Montreal up 2-0.

Jamey Carroll’s RBI single later in the inning made it 3-0, and Gonzalez’s two-run shot with two outs capped a four-run outburst.

Carroll hit a leadoff double in the fourth and, one out later, Wilkerson hit his team-leading 23rd homer to increase the lead to 7-1.

Expos starter Sun-Woo Kim allowed an unearned run in the third despite holding Los Angeles hitless until Beltre hit a leadoff single in the fourth, a sinking liner off center fielder Endy Chavez’s glove on a diving attempt.

The Dodgers scored four with two outs in the seventh to draw within 7-5. Finley hit a three-run double off Eischen, who got the last out of the sixth in relief of Kim.

Luis Ayala replaced Eischen and allowed Beltre’s RBI single which made it 7-5. Shawn Green singled and pinch-hitter Robin Ventura walked to load the bases before Ayala got Jayson Werth to ground to third to escape the jam.

Cordero blew a save for the third time in 16 opportunities.

“I felt most of the blame,” Eischen said. “The guys picked us up.”

Kim allowed three hits and an unearned run in 5 2-3 innings, while Perez

Notes

Wilkerson has hit a career-high six homers against left-handers this season. … Diaz hit 19 homers in eight seasons in the AL, including four last season with the Rangers.

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