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Expos end skid in front of smallest crowd of season

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Vidro hopes his timely hit will change
momentum for the Montreal Expos.

Vidro hit an RBI single in the 12th inning as the Expos ended
their season-high six-game losing streak Thursday night with a 6-5
win over the Colorado Rockies before the smallest Olympic Stadium
crowd of the season.

"You can get a winning streak started with a win in the bottom
of the ninth or going extra innings," Vidro said. "Hopefully,
everybody will get fired up and come out tomorrow and start playing
better baseball again."

With the Montreal Canadiens playing host to Carolina in an NHL
playoff game at the Molson Centre, just 3,183 were on hand _ the
Expos' smallest crowd since 3,037 attended an 8-3 win over Colorado
last Sept. 20.

Vidro hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning, but Montreal
closer Matt Herges blew a two-run lead in the ninth.

Mike Mordecai hit a one-out single in the 12th and went to third
when Endy Chavez doubled off the right-field wall. Vidro blooped a
single off Rick White (0-4) over a drawn-in infield into shallow
center.

"The team came back and tied it up in the ninth, and we battled
the whole game, and I just didn't do my job," White said.

Graeme Lloyd (1-2) got five straight outs after entering with
Todd Hollandsworth on third and one out in the 11th. With the
infield in, Larry Walker hit a sharp grounder to the hole that
shortstop Orlando Cabrera back-handed before throwing out Walker at
first as Hollandsworth held at third.

Lloyd got Todd Helton on a grounder to end the threat before
pitching a perfect 12th.

"Graeme Lloyd did an outstanding job there to keep them
scoreless, and keep that man at third base in the 11th inning,"
Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "It was an outstanding play by
Cabrera. He's capable of making those plays, but in that situation
it was just a tremendous play."

Brad Wilkerson also homered for the Expos, who avoided their
longest losing streak since dropping the last nine games of the
2000 season.

"We thought it was going to be a lot easier than it ended up
being, but we got a W," Vidro said.

Colorado fell to 2-4 on a nine-game road trip that ends with a
three-game series in New York.

"We battled," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "They made
their hits count. If we don't get the effort in the eighth and
ninth innings, we don't get to play in the 11th and 12th. I'm never
happy to lose, but I'm happy with the effort tonight."

Trailing 5-3, the Rockies tied it with two runs in the ninth as
Herges blew his second save in eight opportunities.

Juan Pierre led off with a pinch-hit single, advanced to second
on pinch-hitter Greg Norton's single and went to third on
Hollandsworth's fly to left.

Pierre scored and Norton advanced to second on catcher Michael
Barrett's passed ball before Herges struck out Juan Uribe for the
second out.

Larry Walker, who hit a two-run double to put Colorado up 2-1 in
the fifth, tied it with an RBI single to right.

Fernando Tatis drove in Montreal's first run with a broken-bat
infield single with two outs in the first.

Making his third start with the Expos, Bruce Chen allowed two
runs and eight hits in five innings. Chen lost his first two starts
after moving into the rotation.

Montreal got four runs off Denny Neagle in the fifth. Wilkerson
hit his third homer of the season with one out to tie it at 2. Chen
singled and Neagle hit Lou Collier in the back with a 1-2 pitch
before Vidro hit his third home run to put the Expos up 5-2.

Terry Shumpert hit a two-out double off left-hander Scott
Stewart in the eighth and Benny Agbayani's RBI single off reliever
T.J. Tucker drew Colorado within two, but Agbayani was caught in a
rundown and tagged out after trying to take second on center
fielder Chavez's throw home.

Neagle allowed five runs and five hits in five innings, matching
his shortest outing in seven starts this season. He also lasted
five innings in an 8-6 win at Arizona on April 19.

Game notes
Colorado pitcher Mike Hampton pinch-hit for reliever Chris
Nichting with two outs in the 10th and struck out swinging to end
the inning. ... Colorado had seen each of its previous four series
end in sweeps. The Rockies, who lost three games in Philadelphia
before this series, were swept three games in Cincinnati from April
23-25 before returning home to sweep a pair of three-game series
from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. ... Expos 1B Andres Galarraga is
having his lower back examined by Dr. Steve Rosen, the
Chicago-based oncologist he consulted while battling non-Hodgkins
Lymphoma in 1999. Galarraga is currently on the 15-day disabled
list with a strained lower back.