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Schilling joins teammate Johnson at 6-1

5/4/2002

PHOENIX (AP) -- Curt Schilling likes the roof closed at Bank One
Ballpark because he said he thinks the ball carries farther when it's open.

Maybe he's wrong.

Arizona hit three consecutive home runs for the second time in
six days, leading Schilling and the Diamondbacks over the Montreal
Expos 6-3 Friday night.

"That roof deal was made out to be much more than it should
have been," Schilling said, brushing aside the subject.

Schilling struck out 14 in seven innings, working up a sweat as
the heat built up in the enclosed ballpark. The roof remained
closed even though it was a comfortable 83 degrees outside at
game time.

Arizona added another homer -- by Jose Guillen -- in the eighth
inning, and the Expos homered twice off Schilling.

Still, the Diamondbacks have said that if Schilling wants the
roof closed, it will be closed.

Schilling (6-1) allowed five hits, including solo homers by
Vladimir Guerrero and Michael Barrett. The right-hander walked one
to join teammate Randy Johnson as the only six-game winners in the
majors.

"This was our bullpen and back-to-back-to-back home runs
again," Schilling said. "That's six in two games for me. Our
bullpen was huge. In this league, you win with your bullpen and
bench."

Danny Bautista, Steve Finley and Damian Miller homered off Bruce
Chen in the first inning to put Arizona up 4-0.

"Just think how far they would have gone with the roof open,"
Miller joked.

Just last Sunday in Florida, Finley, Miller and Mark Grace hit
consecutive home runs against Josh Beckett. Schilling was pitching
in that one, too. Arizona had hit three homers in a row only once
before in the franchise's history.

Guerrero's 10th homer of the season made it 4-2 in the sixth and
Barrett, who also had a run-scoring single, cut it to 4-3 with a home run
in the seventh.

Schilling, who also singled twice, reached double-digit
strikeouts for the fourth time in his seven starts.

"That's typical Curt Schilling," Arizona manager Bob Brenly
said.

"If you look at his history, he always strikes out a lot of
guys, he rarely walks anybody and he has a tendency to give up some
home runs. Fortunately, after the home runs that he gave up, Schil
and the bullpen after him were able to make them stand up."

Guillen hit a popup that hit a girder on the ballpark roof and
came down in foul territory in the eighth, then homered on the next
pitch to put Arizona ahead 5-3.

Montreal loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Byung
Hyun-Kim -- who pitched two innings Thursday night -- struck out Brad
Wilkerson to end the inning.

Kim then pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.

Plate umpire Larry Vanover ejected Wilkerson when the batter
threw his helmet down in disgust after the called third strike.

Chen (2-2), who had given up just four homers all season, has
looked better as a reliever than a starter, manager Frank Robinson
said.

"He seems a little timid out there and didn't seem as
aggressive throwing the ball in the strike zone and finishing
hitters off in his two starts as he was as a reliever," Robinson
said.

Chen walked Junior Spivey with one out in the first. Bautista -- batting in Luis Gonzalez's usual No. 3 spot -- hit a high fly that
barely cleared the fence in right field.

Bautista has six homers this season, one more than he had all of
last year.

Finley followed with a 427-foot shot to the porch in
right-center, then Miller hit a 3-2 pitch into the left-field
seats.

The Expos had not allowed three consecutive homers since July 7,
1995.

Gonzalez, mired in an 0-for-19 slump, didn't start for just the
second time since the 1999 season. He came on in a double-switch in
the eighth inning to keep his streak of consecutive games played
alive at 356, longest among active players.

He doubled to end the slump with two outs in the eighth, then
scored on Tony Womack's single.

Gonzalez endured endless ribbing from his teammates in the
dugout.

"I know the time he spent on the bench today he was taking a
lot of grief, so he was probably glad to just get in the ballgame
and get away from his teammates for awhile," Brenly said. "I
heard Wally Pipp mentioned at least 100 times on that bench
today."

Game notes
Arizona loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth and with
one out in the sixth and failed to score both times. ... The Expos
placed Andres Galarraga on the 15-day disabled list and purchased the contract
of left-handed pitcher Joey Eischen from Triple-A Ottawa. ... Montreal played its
first game against an National League West team. ... The Diamondbacks lead the
NL with 39 home runs.