Tomo Ohka gave up only a solo homer in five innings and the
Expos took advantage of another slapstick Cincinnati inning as they
beat the Reds 5-2 Saturday.
The Expos sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs in
the sixth with only one hit -- an infield single. Montreal got four
walks and a sacrifice fly, and third baseman Aaron Boone made a
It was reminiscent of the series opener Friday, when the Reds
made three errors in one inning to set up Montreal's 8-7 win.
"We've been able to be patient," said second baseman Jose
Vidro, who forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk. "Guys are
taking advantage of the little mistakes, the extra outs. That's
been the game both days."
Montreal has opened 3-2 under manager Frank Robinson, brought in
to steady baseball's most uncertain franchise. The Expos opened
last season 6-1, but went on to lose 94 games.
"It's not a bad way to start," Robinson said. "Now we've got
to finish it off and take the third one (in the series)."
In their opening homestand, the Reds have closely resembled the
team that lost a franchise-record 54 home games last season and 96
overall. They've made six errors and their pitching has crumbled,
leading to a 2-3 start.
Ohka (1-0) gave up one walk and Juan Encarnacion's solo homer in
the fifth before leaving for a pinch-hitter during the Expos'
four-run sixth. Luis Pineda (0-1) walked the first two batters in
the inning and went to a 2-0 count on pinch-hitter Mike Mordecai
before manager Bob Boone decided he'd seen enough.
"I just couldn't throw strikes today," said Pineda, who was
ejected from a game Wednesday night after hitting two Cubs in one
inning. "My hand was so cold, I couldn't feel my fingers."
Scott Sullivan relieved and completed the walk to Mordecai. One
out later, Sullivan walked Vidro to force in a run, and Aaron Boone
dropped Vladimir Guerrero's potential double-play grounder to let
in another. Orlando Cabrera had an RBI infield single and Andres
Galarraga finished the rally with a sacrifice fly.
Graeme Lloyd got the last six outs for his second save in two
The Reds had a baserunning gaffe in the eighth, when Reggie
Taylor tagged from third on a fly to right field even though he'd
been told to stay.
Guerrero, who has one of the strongest arms in the majors, took
a few steps in and threw on the fly to home, where Taylor slowed
and let himself get tagged because he was out by such a big margin.
"I was very surprised because of the depth of the fly ball,"
Robinson said. "If you had a guy out there with just a good arm,
not a great one, it would be touch-and-go. I was very surprised he
went, but happy."
Reds starter Chris Reitsma, who complained of tightness in his
elbow this spring, wore short sleeves on a 43-degree afternoon and
lasted five innings, leaving with the game tied at 1. His
bases-loaded wild pitch let in a run in the fifth.
Encarnacion, the only batter in the Reds' lineup who had faced
Ohka before Saturday, hit his first homer with two outs in the
fifth to tie it. Ohka threw only 60 pitches -- 40 of them strikes --
but Robinson decided to pinch-hit for him in the sixth rather than
have him try to advance the runners with a bunt.
The Rev. Metropolit Galactyon, the bishop in the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church and the spiritual adviser to his nation's soccer
team, threw a ceremonial pregame pitch -- the ball reached the
catcher on the fly. A Bulgarian delegation is visiting Cincinnati
as part of a Holocaust awareness program. ... It was the 2,500th
regular-season game at Cinergy Field, which opened in 1970 as
Riverfront Stadium. The Reds have won 1,376, lost 1,120 and had
four ties. ... 1B Lee Stevens was scratched from the Expos' lineup
with a sore right calf. ... The Expos' media guide lists Ohka's
hobbies as fishing and driving. ... Okha singled in his first
at-bat. He's 4-for-20 career with nine strikeouts. ... Vidro, who
missed the first two weeks of spring training games with a sprained
right shoulder, aggravated it when he was knocked down while
turning a double play in the sixth. He came out for a pinch-hitter
as a precaution in the eighth, but expected to be in the lineup