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Colon notches first NL shutout

8/19/2002

MONTREAL (AP) -- Bartolo Colon and the Montreal Expos played like
they were in a hurry to get out of town -- maybe for good.

Playing what may wind up being major league baseball's final
game in Montreal, Colon pitched a two-hitter for his first NL
shutout to lead the Expos over the San Diego Padres 4-0 on Monday.

The game, played before 8,266, took just 1 hour, 55 minutes.

"I didn't realize I was working that fast,'' Colon said through
an interpreter. "I just got into a groove and everything was
working for me. I didn't have any plans to pitch fast.''

Commissioner Bud Selig has plans for Montreal, though. He wants
to eliminate two clubs before next season and the Expos, owned by
the other 29 franchises, are one of the targeted teams.

The Expos, who joined the National League in 1969, start a
nine-game trip at Colorado on Tuesday and are not scheduled to play
at home until Aug. 30, the date players have set for their strike.

"It's late and they haven't got an agreement yet so some of the
guys, especially the rookies, were taking pictures and getting bats
signed,'' Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera said. "I haven't done
that. My hope is that we're going to keep playing and they make an
agreement before that.''

Catcher Brian Schneider, Montreal's player representative,
acknowledged that the team might have played its final home game.

"That's always a possibility but we're not thinking that way,''
Schneider said. "We're thinking positive about the talks and we
want to get things worked out. The last thing we want is a strike
so hopefully we'll return back here. We want to play here. We play
great here and we're hoping to come back.''

Colon (6-2) gave up just two hits, Deivi Cruz's single leading
off the third and Bubba Trammell's single in the eighth. He struck
out six and walked two in his major league-leading eighth complete
game, his fourth in 10 starts with the Expos. Colon had two
shutouts with Cleveland before he was traded to Montreal on June
27.

"He had better command than I thought,'' Padres manager Bruce
Bochy said. "He pitches more than you would think. He didn't just
try to blow it by everybody. He used his fastball well but he
commanded it very well and we didn't have much going on at all.''

Vladimir Guerrero hit his 33rd homer for the Expos, a three-run
drive in the third off Brian Lawrence (11-7) -- possibly the final
home run at Olympic Stadium.

Jose Macias hit a sacrifice fly in the second to put Montreal up
1-0.

Deivi Cruz was thrown out at the plate by rookie center fielder
Brad Wilkerson while trying to score on Ramon Vazquez's sacrifice
fly in the third.

Lawrence, 4-1 in his previous six starts, allowed four runs and
six hits in five innings.

Game notes
Colon struck out the side in the sixth. Padres reliever Tom
Davey struck out the side in the seventh. ... Since joining the NL
as an expansion team along with San Diego in 1969, the Expos are
1,369-1,282 overall in Montreal, including 1,084-926 at Olympic
Stadium, the team's home since 1977. ... Wilkerson's 12 outfield
assists rank third in the NL behind Guerrero and Colorado's Larry
Walker, who are tied for the league lead with 14 assists each.