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Wilkerson homers for third straight game

7/7/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andres Galarraga and Fernando Tatis played
home run derby in batting practice. After a winner wasn't decided
there, the duo took the competition into the game.

Galarraga and Tatis each launched home runs, and Brad Wilkerson
homered for the third straight game to lift the Montreal Expos over
the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 Saturday night.

The Expos, winners of three straight and four of five, have
outhomered their opponents 20-9 during a 12-game road trip. The
Phillies, who left 13 runners on base, have lost four of their last
five.

Galarraga and Tatis each put on a dazzling power show in batting
practice, including two long upper-deck shots by Galarraga.

"The wind was blowing out (in batting practice), so we had a
little game to see who could hit it in the upper deck,'' Galarraga
said. "We were tied, so we had to settle it in the game. It was
nice to carry that over to the game.''

Tatis started the fourth with his 12th home run of the year -- a
411-foot blast -- giving the Expos 2-0 lead. Tatis, who had an
11-game hitting streak snapped on Friday, went 2-for-2 with three
walks and two runs scored.

After Philadelphia got within 2-1 in the fifth, Galarraga
launched a two-run shot off the facing of the upper deck in
left-center field in the sixth. It was his second of the season.
The homer traveled 414 feet.

Javier Vazquez (6-5) was effective over five innings. He allowed
one run on five hits, tied a season-high with four walks and struck
out three.

T.J. Tucker preserved a one-run lead with 1 2/3 innings in
relief and Scott Stewart pitched the ninth for his 12th save.

Wilkerson gave Montreal a quick lead when he led off the game
against Brandon Duckworth (5-6) with his ninth homer of the season
to right field. The rookie started his home run string with a
two-out, two-run shot in the ninth inning of a 2-1 win Thursday.

"It felt good to get it started like that,'' Wilkerson said.
"I feel really good swinging the bat.''

Montreal added a run in the ninth on Jose Macias' RBI single.

"The offense picked things up for the pitching,'' Expos manager
Frank Robinson said. "It was a struggle all the way through the
game.''

Vazquez ran into a jam in the fifth, but survived with minimal
damage.

Duckworth singled and, one out later, Jimmy Rollins singled and
Bobby Abreu followed with a walk. Pat Burrell, who carries a .379
career average and three homers with the bases loaded, flied out to
deep right field, scoring Duckworth. With runners at first and
third, Vazquez struck out Jeremy Giambi.

"I think this is going to be the turnaround point for (Vazquez)
because he battled for five innings,'' Robinson said. "I think
we're going to see the real Vazquez after the All-Star break. Then,
we'll have something. We need him for the second half.''

Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa continued to look for answers.

"One thing sticks out in this game -- 13 men left on base,'' he
said. "We can't get the big hit and we can't get a big pitch when
we need it, either.

Duckworth pitched six innings, surrendering four runs on eight
hits. He struck out two and walked three.

Duckworth has surrendered eight home runs in his last three
starts combined.

"I'm trying to make guys hit the ball, the problem is some have
been going out of the park,'' Duckworth said.

Philadelphia pulled with 4-2 in the sixth inning against
reliever Jim Brower, who walked three and gave up a Travis Lee
ground-rule double while getting just two outs. Rollins drew a RBI
walk to make the score 4-2. Graeme Lloyd relieved and got Abreu to
fly out to deep right field for the third out.

Jeremy Giambi's solo homer off Matt Herges in the seventh made
it 4-3.

Game notes
Wilkerson's home run was the second leadoff shot of his
career. ... Tatis has five homers, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored in
last 12 games. ... Burrell is 0-for-6 with two RBI with the bases
loaded this season. ... Duckworth has given up a team-high 16
homers in 17 starts. ... Giambi has a combined 16 homers in 72
games with Philadelphia and Oakland. ... Vazquez is 7-2 lifetime
against Philadelphia. ... Galarraga has 379 home runs for his
career. ... Ricky Ledee went 0-for-1 with career-high four walks.
... Expos pitchers combined for 10 walks.<