Expos 12, Phillies 8
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—OK, it’s not exactly a pennant race, but Montreal still has something to play for: escaping last place in the NL East.
“People say, `What’s the big deal?”’ Expos manager Frank Robinson said of the standings. “The big deal is I put on this major league uniform and I’m going to put this effort in. They could have called it in after the first half of the season, but they’ve played some real good baseball in the second half.”
Batista had three RBIs to give him 100, and Juan Rivera went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs for the Expos, who trailed by four in the eighth.
The Expos are 3 1/2 games behind the Mets for fourth place in the NL East.
“That’s the immediate goal,” Robinson said. “We won’t be able to pass the Phillies, so, yeah, we’re trying to pass the Mets. I’m sure the Mets’ goal is not to let us catch them.”
With the game tied at 7, Maicer Izturis led off with a liner off the glove of second baseman Placido Polanco. Brian Schneider’s sacrifice was bobbled by Worrell and his throw to first was late for an error.
Batista followed with a single to left, driving in two to make it 9-7. Ryan Church added an RBI single and Sledge had a two-run triple, making it 11-7.
Batista drove in 100 runs for the third time, and first since 2000 when he was with Toronto.
“I was looking forward for that this year,” Batista said. “I got the opportunity and the chance on this team and I did it.”
Milton allowed three runs and three hits in six innings, and Ryan Madson tossed a scoreless seventh but unraveled in the eighth.
Madson allowed the first two batters to reach, then Batista made it 7-4 with an RBI single to left. Felix Rodriguez relieved Madson and promptly allowed an RBI single by Rivera.
The Phillies turned to their third reliever of the inning, lefty Rheal Cormier. He struck out pinch-hitter Church, but Sledge ripped an opposite-field two-RBI double to left to tie it at 7.
“Our bullpen has been doing a great job. We just didn’t get it done tonight,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “We made a lot of bad pitches in the eighth and ninth innings.”
Milton, who came in batting .125 with no extra-base hits, ripped a two-RBI double that one-hopped over the wall and into the Phillies bullpen.
Jimmy Rollins followed with an RBI single to left for a 4-0 lead.
Milton allowed only a sacrifice fly in the third until Rivera crushed his ninth homer in the sixth, a two-run shot to left that made it 4-3. Milton has allowed an NL-worst 39 homers in 181 2-3 innings.
Polanco gave the Phillies a 6-3 lead with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth off reliever Francis Beltran. Bell, batting fourth for the first time this year, added a solo shot in the seventh.
Phillies closer Billy Wagner served the first of a two-game suspension from major league baseball and fined an undisclosed amount after he was ejected against the New York Mets last weekend. … Armas, 2-4 with a 4.88 ERA, said he felt some soreness after throwing in a recent side session. … Phillies 1B Jim Thome was a late scratch, still bothered by a bruised chest suffered in a collision with catcher Todd Pratt. Ryan Howard got the start. … Sledge was back in the starting lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Marlins at Chicago with a dislocated left pinkie. … Abreu had his third 100 RBI season in four years.
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