Expos 6, Dodgers 3
MONTREAL (AP)—Frank Robinson had no idea about the significance of the milestone game ball Brian Schneider gave him.
“Schneider handed me the ball when he was out there on the field, and I didn’t know why he was handing it to me,” Robinson said. “I looked around at the board and it said ‘900,’ which means you’ve been around a long time, that’s all.”
Brad Wilkerson hit a leadoff home run in the first inning, and Tony Batista and Juan Rivera later homered off Lima (11-4), who lost for the first time in 11 starts since Anaheim beat him 13-0 on June 25.
“I was up in the zone and they put the ball in play,” Lima said. “I’m not quitting. Jose Lima never quits. Tomorrow I’m going to come out and be a cheerleader for my team.”
The NL West-leading Dodgers fell to 1-2 on their season-high 13-game trip.
“The home-run ball got us tonight, obviously,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “The solo home runs didn’t hurt because the game is 3-3, but the three-run homer that Schneider hit was obviously the difference in the game. That’s all it boils down to, when they hit the ball out of the ballpark, you don’t have a lot of defense for that.”
Batista was hit in the helmet in the seventh by a pitch from reliever Duaner Sanchez, who was immediately ejected by plate umpire Tim Timmons.
“He threw the first one behind him and I wasn’t quite certain that it was intentional, and the second one I was pretty darn confident it was intentional, and when he goes up around the head like that I’m going to go ahead and get rid of him in that situation,” Timmons said.
The sound of the impact was heard throughout Olympic Stadium, and the crowd of 7,570 hushed while Expos trainer Tim Abraham sprinted from the dugout to attend to Batista, who lay face down in the batter’s box.
The crowd cheered as Batista got to his feet and pumped his arms in the air, and then roared when he sprinted to first base, a move that drew a pointing gesture from Sanchez, who remained on the field during the delay.
“That’s Tony,” Robinson said. “How about when he got up and he turned around and acknowledged the crowd? Who would do that after having their head spun? I told him in the dugout, I said, ‘If you had waited, I was going to challenge you and run down to first base but you took off too quick.’ Only Tony, only Tony. He’s quite a character.”
Joe Horgan (4-1) allowed one hit in two scoreless innings. Ayala pitched two innings for his second save.
Wilkerson hit his fifth leadoff homer of the season, his team-leading 24th home run of the year.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs in the second. Tony Armas Jr. struck out Lima, then allowed the tying run on Cesar Izturis’ sacrifice fly before escaping the jam by getting Alex Cora to fly out.
Armas left after the third because of right leg spasms.
Batista hit his 22nd homer on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom half. Rivera hit his seventh homer on Lima’s next pitch to tie it at 3.
Lima has gone at least six innings in 14 of his last 16 starts. … Expos 2B Jose Vidro will have season-ending knee surgery on Sept. 8. … Armas, who threw 57 pitches, allowed five hits and three runs. … Robinson, who has 981 career losses, also managed Cleveland, San Francisco and Baltimore.