Two five-run innings help Expos pull away


NEW YORK (AP) -- The way the first three innings went for Montreal, manager Frank Robinson thought he was in for another long night.

Then the New York Mets got sloppy and Livan Hernandez got
stingy, sending the Expos to Atlanta on a winning note.

Brian Schneider and Edwards Guzman had two RBI apiece as Montreal used a pair of five-run innings to beat New York 11-4 Wednesday night.

"It was a pretty good game after the third inning," Robinson said. "We came to life and Livan shut them down. It's a nice win. It's one we had to have."

Hernandez (7-6) settled down after a shaky start, holding New York scoreless over his final five innings to salvage the finale of the three-game series.

The Expos start a four-game series against the first-place Braves on Thursday night. Montreal is in third place in the NL East, seven games behind Atlanta.

"We're in a good position going in there now," Guzman said. "Hopefully we can have a good series and win in Atlanta."

The Mets broke out to a 4-0 lead after three innings but fell apart after that. They committed four errors and failed in an attempt for their first series sweep of the season.

"You're going to have games like this," Mets manager Art Howe said.

Jae Weong Seo (5-4) faced the minimum nine batters in the first three innings before Montreal capitalized on the porous fielding and poor pitching to score five runs each in the fourth and fifth.

The Expos batted around both innings, sending 22 batters to the
plate, and every starter scored in one of the two frames, with Brad
Wilkerson coming across twice.

The Mets committed three errors, walked four batters -- including
two with the bases loaded -- and had a balk in the two innings.

Seo unraveled in the fourth as the Expos loaded the bases on a
double by Endy Chavez, a single by Orlando Cabrera and a walk to

Seo, the second-best control pitcher in the NL, followed with
another uncharacteristic walk, this time to Jose Vidro to force in
a run.

First baseman Tony Clark then committed a throwing error on a
routine grounder by Ron Calloway, scoring another run. Wil Cordero
and Schneider added RBI singles in the inning and Guzman hit a
sacrifice fly.

"We hit the ball when he had to hit with men on base," Guzman
said. "We took walks and made things happen."

Seo was replaced by Pedro Feliciano after second baseman Jay
Bell failed to cover first on a bunt, loading the bases on the

Feliciano escaped the fourth without any more damage but was
knocked out in the fifth.

Guzman, Schneider and Hernandez hit consecutive run-scoring
singles with two outs to make it 8-4. Feliciano was replaced by
Jaime Cerda after an error by third baseman Ty Wigginton forced in
another run.

Cerda came in and threw four straight balls to Wilkerson, making
it 10-4.

"We couldn't stop it once it started," Mets catcher Jason
Phillips said. "We had two bad innings there where we gave them
extra outs."

Vidro made the first and third outs of the fifth. Both outs drew
mock ovations from the Shea Stadium crowd -- one for Clark catching
a routine popup and the second for Wigginton cleanly fielding a

The crowd of 35,547 that came to see the postgame fireworks let
the Mets have it all night for their poor play. Cliff Floyd dropped
a routine fly in the sixth inning and Clark misplayed another
grounder in the eighth that was scored a hit. Clark also struck out
all four times he batted.

Jeromy Burnitz hit a solo homer in the first for the Mets and
Phillips hit a leadoff shot in the second inning. Phillips added a
two-run single in the third to make it 4-0.

"After that I tried to keep the ball down and get some outs,"
Hernandez said.

Wilkerson helped out Hernandez in the bottom of the fifth,
leaping over the left field wall to rob Floyd of a homer. Hernandez
allowed four runs -- two earned -- and six hits in eight innings.

Pinch-hitter Joe Vitiello added a solo homer in the ninth for

Game notes
Mets LHP Al Leiter will miss his start Saturday after
getting his sore right knee drained. Leiter might not be back until
after the All-Star break. ... Cabrera broke a 16 at-bat hitless
streak with a single in the fourth inning. ... Chavez left with an
upset stomach in the fifth inning.