Expos rally to win sixth of last seven

MONTREAL (AP) -- Though it's probably too late to salvage their
season, the Montreal Expos are hitting -- and winning.

Tony Batista homered and drove in two runs, and Nick Johnson hit
a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth in leading Montreal to a 7-4 win
over the New York Mets on Wednesday, the Expos' sixth win in seven

Brian Schneider also had two RBI, and Batista, Johnson and Endy Chavez -- who doubled and tripled -- each scored twice for the Expos,
who have scored a major league-low 359 runs.

"Batista got a couple of big hits for us tonight, Nick Johnson
got a big hit for us, Schneider got one and Chavez had a very good
night," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "They made things
happen out there and it's good to see because if you get that kind
of production through the lineup, you're going to score some

T.J. Tucker (1-1) allowed one hit in a scoreless two-thirds of
an inning in relief, and Luis Ayala pitched a perfect eighth to
extend his shutout streak to 23 1/3 innings. Chad Cordero got three
outs for his 10th save.

"It feels great because it shows the starters confidence that
if they don't have a good day they can trust in us to go out there
and get the job done," Cordero said.

Ayala's scoreless streak is the longest by a reliever in the
majors since New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera finished the
1999 season without allowing a run over his final 30 innings.

"I was thinking about giving him the night off, but he said he
could go an inning so he gave me an inning and that's all I needed
of him, and he did a tremendous job again tonight," Robinson said.

Trailing 4-3 after blowing a three-run lead in the fifth,
Montreal tied it in the bottom half when Endy Chavez followedBrad Wilkerson's leadoff walk with an RBI triple to chase Jae Seo (4-7).

Reliever Tyler Yates got two outs before Johnson put the Expos
up 5-4 with a run-scoring double. Orlando Cabrera followed with
Montreal's second straight RBI double to make it 6-4.

Batista hit an RBI single as Montreal built a 3-0 lead in the
fourth, and hit his third homer in four games to reach 60 RBI in
the seventh.

"Right now, we're hitting pretty good," Batista said. "We're
getting basehits at the right moment and the pitching has been
doing a great job."

Mike Piazza played first base and went 0-for-4 with a walk for
the Mets in his first start since spraining his wrist on July 20.

New York's Jose Reyes was replaced by pinch-runner David Wright
after hitting an RBI single with one out in the fifth. Reyes
sprained his right ankle when his foot landed awkwardly as he
approached second base while legging out a double in the third.

"It's not even close to last year," Reyes said. "I couldn't
even walk, now I'm walking fine. Last year it was terrible, this is
a lot better. When I hit the ball and tried to run to first,
something cracked so I had to stop right away. Now I'm feeling
better. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."

Chavez hit a leadoff double in the fourth to spark a three-run
outburst for Montreal. One out later, Chavez advanced to third when
plate umpire called a balk against Seo.

Batista hit an RBI single to open the scoring and Johnson and
Cabrera walked to load the bases.

Seo got Terrmel Sledge to fly to left before Schneider hit a
two-run single to increase the Expos' lead to 3-0.

"The balk is when things came apart for him," Mets manager Art
Howe said. "A lot of close pitches after that didn't go his way
and he lost his composure after that. He let that bother him and
you just can't do that. Instead of just one run, it turns into a
three-run inning."

The Mets came back with four in the fifth to take the lead,
chasing starter Tony Armas Jr.

Vance Wilson drew a leadoff walk and advanced on Seo's
sacrifice. Reyes' RBI single made it 3-1. Kaz Matsui singled to
advance Wright, who ran for Reyes, and Piazza walked to load the

Armas hit Cliff Floyd with a pitch to force in a run and
Robinson replaced Armas with Roy Corcoran. Richard Hidalgo drew a
bases-loaded walk to tie it and, one out later, Mike Cameron also
walked to put the Mets up 4-3.

Tucker came in and struck out Wilson looking to end the threat.

Game notes
Seo threw his shoes at a garbage can in the clubhouse after
the game before throwing a chair as reporters looked on. ... Mets
pitching coach Rick Peterson was ejected by plate umpire Tony
Randazzo during a mound visit with Yates in the fifth. ... Ayala's
shutout streak is the longest by a Montreal reliever since John
Wetteland pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings in 1993. ...
Cordero tied the Expos' rookie record for saves in a season set by
Dale Murray, who had 10 saves and a 1.03 ERA in 32 games in 1974.