Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 3

Montreal leads 2-0 (as of 4/26)

Game 1: Friday, April 25
Game 2: Saturday, April 26
in 10
Game 3: Sunday, April 27

Astros 2

(10-13, 5-9 away)

Expos 3

(15-9, 10-5 home)

1:05 PM ET, April 26, 2003

Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec 

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HOU 0010000100 2 - -
MON 0000020001 3 - -

W: R. Biddle (2-1)

L: B. Wagner (1-1)

Bagwell reaches 2,000 career hits

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Macias met Billy Wagner's 98 mph fastball just right to give the Montreal Expos their latest game-winning home run.

Macias hit his first homer of the season with one out in the 10th inning as Montreal extended their winning streak to three with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

The homer was the Expos' fourth to win a game, and third to end one. Wagner (1-1) was working a rare third inning of relief when Macias connected.

"I know he throws a pretty good fastball and I was looking for it the whole time,'' Macias said. "I knew if I got it in a good spot I could hit it hard. As soon as you hit a 98 mile per hour fastball, when you hit it in a good spot the ball is jumping.''

Wagner went beyond two innings for the first time since July 14, 1997, when he pitched three innings for the win in a 9-7, 15-inning victory in Chicago. It was his second blown save in six opportunities this season.

"I knew that I was going to go back out there,'' Wagner said. "For whatever reason, I just knew that I had to get through a third (inning) and if I'd have got through that with a low pitch count, I'd have probably pitched a fourth.''

Rocky Biddle (2-1) pitched the 10th for the win as the NL East-leading Expos improved to 15-9, including a 4-1 mark at Olympic Stadium.

Jeff Bagwell went 2-for-5 to reach 2,000 career hits. Bagwell hit his ninth homer in the third off rookie Claudio Vargas. He beat out an infield hit in the 10th to join Craig Biggio as the only Astros players to reach the milestone.

The crowd of 8,492 -- the largest in four games since 36,879 attended Tuesday's home opener -- gave Bagwell a warm ovation when the feat was announced to the crowd.

"You're talking about baseball fans, and those are the ones that were out here today,'' Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "We don't play that many games here, but certainly to be able to recognize what the man has done and then show their appreciation with basically a standing ovation from a lot of people, I have to tip my cap to these fans here.''

The Astros, who are 3-9 on a 13-game road trip, lost their fourth straight. Houston has lost 11 of 14 to fall three games under .500 after getting off to a 7-2 start.

Bagwell was more concerned about the Astros' recent struggles than savoring his achievement.

"Probably the biggest thing I'll remember about the 2,000th hit is the fans showing their appreciation, so I thank them for that,'' he said.

Trailing 1-0, Montreal's Endy Chavez hit an RBI double in the sixth and Vladimir Guerrero drove in the go-ahead run later in the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Houston tied it in the eighth when Brad Ausmus beat the throw to first on a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder to score Lance Berkman.

Bagwell's homer was one of just two hits allowed in six innings by Vargas, who was recalled from Triple-A Edmonton on Thursday.

Ron Calloway pinch-hit for Vargas with one out in the sixth after Macias hit a leadoff single and stole second.

Brad Lidge relieved Scott Linebrink -- who allowed two hits through five in his first career start -- and hit Calloway with his first pitch to put runners at first and second.

Chavez fell behind 0-2 before hitting an RBI double to tie it at 1. After Jose Vidro was walked intentionally to load the bases, Calloway scored the go-ahead run on Guerrero's fly.

The Eastern League's pitcher of the week last week with Double-A Harrisburg, Vargas struck out seven and walked four in his major league debut.

"I couldn't expect any more from him,'' Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "He did a tremendous job after he got over the jitters.''

Linebrink, whose 45 previous career appearances were all in relief, faced the minimum 15 batters through five despite allowing Chavez's leadoff single in the fourth and Orlando Cabrera's one-out hit in the fifth.

Perfect through three, Linebrink allowed a clean single to Chavez, who was caught stealing as the Astros pitched out on a 1-0 pitch to Vidro.

Linebrink got the next two outs to end the inning, and then got Fernando Tatis grounded into a double play following Cabrera's single to end the fifth.

Game notes

Biggio went 0-for-4 with a walk to remain at 2,320 career hits. ... Ausmus' RBI grounder cost Vargas a shot at becoming the first Expos pitcher to win his major league debut as a starter since Dan Smith beat Boston on June 8, 1999.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press