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Throwing error in 11th opens door for Expos

6/21/2002

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals could use some of the Montreal Expos' good luck.

Vladimir Guerrero scored on pitcher Scott Mullen's throwing error in the 11th inning Thursday night as the Expos extended their winning streak to a season-high seven games with a 5-4 victory over the Royals.

Guerrero led off the 11th with an infield single against Mullen (0-2) and advanced to second on second baseman Carlos Febles' throwing error.

Pinch-hitter Jose Macias bunted a 3-1 pitch in front of the
plate to advance Guerrero to third. Mullen fielded the ball and his
throw to first bounced in the dirt and off Febles' glove before
hitting Macias and rolling farther into foul territory, allowing
Guerrero to score the winning run.

``I was just trying to keep the ball in front of me, then Macias kicked it with his leg -- sometimes nothing goes right,'' Febles said.

The Royals lost their season-high seventh in a row despite out-hitting Montreal 15-8.

Joey Eischen (1-1) pitched a perfect 11th for his first major league win since Aug. 29, 1996, when he beat the Royals while pitching for Detroit.

Montreal put together its longest string since winning 10
straight from June 6-16, 1997.

``This is awesome -- this is amazing,'' said Expos third baseman Fernando Tatis, who homered off closer Roberto Hernandez with one out in the ninth to tie it at 4.

``Everybody's feeling good. We're winning and we're just putting
everything together.''

After Kansas City overcame a three-run deficit with four two-out
runs in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, Tatis hit a towering shot
just over the wall down the left-field line.

``I didn't think it would go over the fence because it was too
high,'' Tatis said. ``I prayed to see it go over the fence.''

Hernandez wasn't surprised the drive made it over the wall.

``He's pretty strong and it doesn't take much if you connect on
one of my fastballs -- I'm supplying most of the power,'' Hernandez
said. ``He just happened to catch it on a decent spot and I was
kind of hoping that it would curve foul, but it didn't.''

Mike Sweeney went 4-for-6 for his 16th career four-hit game and
second of the season.

Kansas City got five hits off three Montreal relievers in the
seventh, including Carlos Beltran's one-out double and four
straight two-out singles to tie it before Michael Tucker scored the
go-ahead run on Matt Herges' wild pitch.

Trailing 3-0, Beltran hit a one-out double off reliever Jim
Brower in the seventh and, one out later, scored on Joe Randa's RBI
single.

Left-hander Graeme Lloyd failed to retire the two batters he
faced as Randa advanced to second on Raul Ibanez's infield hit
before scoring on Tucker's RBI single to make it 3-2.

A.J. Hinch greeted Brower with an RBI single and advanced to
second when center fielder Brad Wilkerson was charged with his
third error in two games when his throw hit Tucker in the back as
he went to third.

Tucker scored the go-ahead run when Herges' first pitch to
pinch-hitter Donzell McDonald got past catcher Michael Barrett.

Wilkerson hit a leadoff triple in the first and scored
Montreal's first run on Jose Vidro's RBI grounder.

He increased the lead to three with a two-run single with two
outs in the fifth.

Expos starter Masato Yoshii allowed seven hits in his first
appearance since June 11 in Detroit, when he was hit on the right
shoulder and right side of his face by Randall Simon's line drive.

Yoshii had six strikeouts, including five while giving up
back-to-back singles in each of the first three innings.

Royals starter Jeff Suppan allowed three runs and five hits in
six innings.

Game notes
Kansas City is 2-10 against NL opponents this season, and
39-58 overall since interleague play began in 1997. ... Home plate
umpire John Hirschbeck warned both benches after Suppan hit
Guerrero in the ribs with a pitch following Vidro's RBI grounder in
the first.