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Pitcher bats eighth, shuts down Reds

MONTREAL (AP) -- Moved up in the batting order, Tomo Ohka beat
the Cincinnati Reds with his arm, not his bat.

Ohka became the first major league pitcher in more than five
years to bat higher than ninth in the starting lineup and went
hitless in two at-bats, but he worked 6 2-3 strong innings to lead
the Montreal Expos over the Reds 6-2.

With his team having lost eight of nine, Expos manager Frank
Robinson batted Ohka eighth in the lineup "to try something
different." He moved Jamey Carroll hitting .256 coming in, to the
ninth spot. Ohka was batting .118.

"I just thought we'll try it out because nothing else is
working here right now," Robinson said. "Let's see if something
different can get us going. It's not something that I'm going to
use every day, but it did work for us today and we'll take it."

It was the first time a pitcher batted higher than ninth in the
starting lineup in the majors since St. Louis' Matt Morris hit
eighth against Montreal on Sept. 27, 1998, and Eli Marrero moved
down to the No. 9 spot.

The move immediately backfired when Ohka fouled out to first
with the bases loaded, ending the first inning and helping Reds
rookie Joe Valentine escape a jam trailing only 2-1.

"It's unbelievable," said catcher Brian Schneider, who was
walked intentionally ahead of Ohka. "It's just funny how things
work out, and all of a sudden the first time the situation comes up
the seven-hole comes up with second and third and the pitcher is in
the eight-hole. We kind of laughed about it."

Ohka also hit a groundout that ended the fourth with runners on
first and second.

"I didn't mind at all," Ohka said. "I tried to get a base
hit."

Ohka finished 0-for-2 with a walk. Carroll went 1-for-3 with
walk.

"I got to lead off a few innings, and it worked out well,"
Carroll said.

Brad Wilkerson and Endy Chavez homered for Montreal, an NL worst
16-33. Nick Johnson drew three of the Expos' season-high 10 walks.

Ohka (3-5) allowed six hits and two runs -- one earned -- to
improve to 3-0 in his last five starts after beginning the season
0-5.

Despite building a 4-1 lead, Montreal left 10 runners on base
through the first four innings.

Chad Cordero got six outs for his first save.

Wilkerson hit his sixth homer off Mike Matthews in the fifth to
make it 5-1. Wily Mo Pena hit his first career pinch-hit homer off
Ohka with one out in the seventh to draw the Reds to 5-2.

Chavez homered for the second straight game to restore
Montreal's four-run lead.

Cincinnati's D'Angelo Jimenez went 4-for-4 to tie his career
high for hits in a game. He has four four-hit games, including May
19 against Colorado.

Valentine (0-1), making his first career start in place of
injured seven-game winner Paul Wilson, walked two of the first
three batters he faced before Tony Batista's RBI double tied the
game at 1.

Johnson walked to load the bases, and Terrmel Sledge hit an RBI
grounder to first to make it 2-1.

Schneider was intentionally walked and Ohka fouled out to first
baseman Sean Casey's on Valentine's first pitch.

Valentine, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville, gave up a
leadoff single to Carroll in the second and left after allowing his
fifth walk to Wilkerson.

"He didn't seem nervous," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "I
mean, I didn't talk to him, but the guy seemed fine. We were
obviously expecting getting more out of Joe."

Valentine allowed two hits and three runs in one-plus innings.
Norton walked four and allowed three hits and one run in three
innings.

"I couldn't find my rhythm, and I couldn't find the strike
zone," Valentine said. "I'm just disappointed not helping out the
team when I should have."

Game notes
Valentine made two relief appearances with the Reds last
season. ... Steve Renko was the last Expos pitcher to bat higher
than ninth in the starting lineup when he hit eighth against San
Diego on Aug. 23, 1973. Renko went 2-for-3 in a 4-2 loss to the
Padres at Jarry Park. ... Montreal drew a team-record 13 walks
against Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 1974.