Sledge hits first career home run


MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Expos are finally starting to hit.

Terrmel Sledge hit his first career homer, Endy Chavez had a
three-run shot and Montreal broke out of a season-long slump with a
10-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Jose Vidro also connected for the Expos, who won consecutive
games for just the second time this year. Montreal lost nine of 10
before a 6-4 win at Los Angeles on Sunday, when it matched its
previous season high for runs.

"Hopefully, tonight is the start of something good here because
we've been struggling for a lot of ballgames," manager Frank
Robinson said. "We have to understand what we did tonight, and
what we did Sunday in Los Angeles to win these ballgames and
continue to do the things that we're capable of doing."

The Expos (7-20) hit three homers Tuesday for the second
straight game. They had a major league-low 55 runs coming in.

"It took us a long time to see offense like what we put out
there tonight," Vidro said. "It feels very good but there's still
a long way to go. It's two games in a row now and we've got to keep
building, keep building."

Sledge had his first career three-hit game as Montreal got a
season-high 14 hits.

"They're not going to hit like that all year, but that doesn't
mean we have to be the team that gives up 10 runs and 14 hits,"
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Only 4,001 were on hand for the Expos' fourth game at Olympic
Stadium this year. It was the smallest Montreal crowd since Sept.
5, 2002, when 2,134 -- the smallest crowd in stadium history --
attended a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia.

"Once we start playing well, I know the people are going to
come," said Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who had two RBI.

Jeromy Burnitz and Royce Clayton homered off Claudio Vargas
(2-1) for Colorado. The Rockies have 40 homers, including 16 while
connecting in each of their 10 road games this season.

Vidro hit his third of the season with one out in the first off
Jason Jennings (1-4), and Chavez hit his first of the season in the
fifth as the Expos matched their season highs with four runs and
five hits in the inning.

Cabrera hit an RBI single in the fourth to put Montreal up 2-1
after Burnitz hit his seventh homer to tie it.

Juan Rivera and Sledge singled in the fifth. Vargas sacrificed
Sledge to second, and Chavez hit a drive over the center-field wall
to make it 5-1.

Cabrera capped the outburst with a run-scoring double after Brad
Wilkerson's two-out single.

Jennings' 10.52 ERA actually rose to 10.57. He allowed six runs
and eight hits in five innings.

"I pitched a lot better than I did even last game," Jennings
said. "That's why this game is a little more frustrating because I
knew I had good stuff tonight. I just had the one walk, which has
been my problem lately. I'm definitely not pleased with the result.
I know I'm close."

Sledge, who began the season with one hit in his first 34 career
at-bats, hit a two-run homer off Turk Wendell in the sixth to put
Montreal up 8-1.

"It took me awhile to get my first hit and it took me a long
time to get my first home run so maybe now I can just relax and
play ball," Sledge said.

Vargas allowed two hits -- including Burnitz's seventh homer with
two outs in the fourth -- while throwing 112 pitches through the
first six innings.

Matt Holliday hit a leadoff double and scored on Brian Hawpe's
RBI single to make it 8-2. Two outs later, Clayton hit a two-run
homer on Vargas' 125th pitch to draw the Rockies within four.

Game notes
Jennings is 0-2 in four career starts against Montreal. ...
The Expos had 13 hits in a 5-4 loss in San Diego on April 28.