MONTREAL (AP) -- Back in Canada, the Montreal Expos showed off
their first-place team to their fans.
"I just want the fans to know that we appreciate them turning
out tonight and their support, and we hope they continue to do that
the rest of the year," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "It
was great to see them out there."
The Expos' first 10 "home games" were moved to San Juan,
Puerto Rico, by the commissioner's office to raise revenue, and
Montreal will return to the island in June and September for a pair
of six-game "homestands."
After the Expos won six games in the Caribbean, Montreal was
welcomed by a crowd of 36,879, the largest Olympic Stadium crowd
since 45,183 came to the 2001 home opener.
Banging the Thunder Stix they were given upon arriving at the
27-year-old domed stadium, Montreal fans welcomed back a franchise
that had been slated for elimination following the 2001 season
along with Minnesota. Since breaking training camp in Melbourne,
Fla., on March 29, the Expos have flown 5,888 miles.
"Even in Puerto Rico, they're still not our fans," Robinson
said. "They were behind us -- the majority of them were down there
-- and they rooted for us but they're not our fans. We're here in
our home ballpark with the home fans out there and that was a great
Montreal, owned by the other 29 teams, has been an early season
surprise with a 12-8 record that tops the NL East. The Expos, who
won their third straight Olympic Stadium opener, lead the major
leagues with four shutouts, one more than their total last year.
"All our starters are doing great," catcher Michael Barrett
said. "They're just showing a lot of consistency early on and
Ohka (2-2) allowed six hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out four
and walked three. Joey Eischen, Dan Smith and Scott Stewart
combined for shutout, three-hit relief. Eischen relieved with the
bases loaded and two outs, and got Steve Finley to ground out.
"Our pitching staff is doing great," Cordero said. "That's
what is really keeping us where we're at right now."
Arizona rookie Andrew Good (0-1) made his first major league
start because Randy Johnson was put on the disabled list Monday
with a strained right knee. Good gave up four runs, five hits and
four walks in 4 2-3 innings, striking out five.
"I was really pleased with the way Andrew threw the ball,"
Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "Cordero hit a home run on a
changeup down low, the home run to Vidro was a hanging changeup,
probably the only bad pitch he made the whole game. The bases
loaded walk and the little chopper looks like he gave up four runs
in 4 2-3. I think he pitched better than that."
Cordero homered in the second inning and Vidro, who went
3-for-4, homered in the third.
"When you've got the lead, it makes it comfortable for you,"
Cordero said. "It brings the crowd right into the game so that was
Good forced in a run in the fifth when he walked Brad Wilkerson
with the bases loaded -- Good's third straight walk. Fernando Tatis
followed with a run-scoring infield single off reliever Oscar
"I didn't trust my stuff the way I did early in the game and it
ended up costing me," Good said. "I should have approached things
a little differently in the fifth, and if I could do it over again,
I definitely would."
Last year's home opener drew 34,351. ... Good, recalled
from Triple-A Tucson on April 16, was 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA in two
starts in the minors this season. He went 13-6 with a 3.54 ERA with
Double-A El Paso last season. ... The Expos are 21-14 in Montreal
openers, including 16-11 at Olympic Stadium, where they have won
seven of their last nine openers. They were 49-32 at home last