Guerrero homered twice and had four RBI -- including a
run-scoring single to cap Montreal's five-run fourth inning -- to
lead the Expos to an 8-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Vladimir Guerrero batted .330 or better in three of the last four seasons.
"It was a good inning for the team because we took advantage of
an error they made, and right after the error, we just kept getting
some clutch hits," Guerrero said through an interpreter. Guerrero homered on an 0-2 pitch from Juan Cruz (0-3) with two
outs in the first and hit an RBI single to chase Cruz with two outs
in the fourth. He added a two-run shot to right off Jesus Sanchez
in the sixth for his fourth homer of the season and 14th career
multihomer game. "I feel good because the main thing is we won the ballgame,"
Guerrero said. "We want to keep playing the way we've been
playing, especially since our pitchers have been responding. The
hitters should be backing them up, too, like they did today." Masato Yoshii (2-1) retired the first 10 batters he faced and
allowed three hits and one run in five innings. T.J. Tucker got
four outs for his first save in front of a season-low crowd of
4,486 at Olympic Stadium. Jose Vidro hit a two-run single in the fourth as the Expos
scored five unearned runs with two outs. "There were a lot of good at-bats and the guys are getting more
mature at the plate," Vidro said. "That's what makes a team
better." With runners at first and second and two outs in the fourth,
Yoshii hit a grounder that got past third baseman Chris Stynes, who
was charged with an error as the Expos took a 2-0 lead. "The ball got by him pretty quick," Cubs manager Don Baylor
said. "It looked like a difficult hop." Yoshii advanced to third on Peter Bergeron's RBI double. Both
runners scored as Vidro's two-run single made it 5-0. Vidro
advanced to second on Cruz's wild pitch before scoring the Expos'
fifth run of the inning on Guerrero's single. "We had good at-bats and we took advantage of what they did,"
Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "We had men out there on base
and we put some hits together, and that's what you need. If you're
going to be successful in this league, you need to do that -- take
advantage of the errors that they make." Cruz allowed five hits and six runs, though just one was earned,
in 3 2-3 innings. Cruz has a 1.93 ERA this season as only three of
the 11 runs he has allowed in 14 innings have been earned runs. "I think Cruz had good stuff," Baylor said. "The one pitch
that really bothered him was the home run, but that's OK, it's 1-0.
To give up five with two outs, walking the eighth-place hitter,
that kind of did him in." The Cubs scored their first run in the fifth on Robert Machado's
RBI grounder, and made it 6-2 in the sixth when Fred McGriff
followed Sammy Sosa's two-out triple off Scott Stewart with a
run-scoring ground-rule double. Vidro got his second straight single with one out in the sixth
and Guerrero hit Sanchez's 3-1 pitch over the right-field wall to
put the Expos up 8-2. The Cubs made it 8-3 in the seventh on pinch-hitter Darren
Lewis' two-out RBI single, but missed an opportunity to close the
gap further when Delino DeShields fell down after rounding second
and was caught in a rundown following Corey Patterson's single to
left. "I don't know what happened," Patterson said. "Maybe he
thought that our third base coach would wave the runner, but he
didn't. It's unfortunate, with Sammy coming up and he could hit a
grand slam and put us right back in the game. It happens." Stynes' run-scoring single off Graeme Lloyd in the eight drove
in Chicago's fourth run.
The Cubs flew Jon Lieber to Chicago on Tuesday to have his
right elbow examined by team medical staff as a precautionary
measure. Lieber has experienced soreness in his elbow on and off
since spring training. ... The Cubs are 73-106 overall at Olympic
Stadium. ... Cubs radio play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes caught
Guerrero's foul ball into the radio booth in the eighth. Guerrero
then reached second on McGriff's two-base error and was thrown out
trying to steal third.