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Green's great catch leads to his winning homer

5/11/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Shawn Green chose offense over defense after
excelling at both.

Green homered after making a spectacular catch and Odalis Perez
pitched into the seventh as the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a
4-3 win over the Montreal Expos on Sunday.

Green, who sat for the first time this season Saturday, made a
diving, run-saving catch to end the fifth before hitting his fifth
homer -- his first since May 5 -- to tie the game in the sixth.

"Hitting the homer,'' Green said when asked which play he drew
more pleasure from. "It's been a long time coming but the catch,
definitely it was nice to help out Odalis.''

The Olympic Stadium crowd of 14,488 -- the second-largest through
12 games in Montreal this season -- cheered Los Angeles closer and
Montreal native Eric Gagne when he entered with two outs in the
eighth.

"It feels good to go out there,'' Gagne said. "Everybody is
proud of the athletes in Quebec and Canada. When I stepped on the
mound it felt great.''

The cheers were quickly muted as Gagne got the last four outs to
protect a one-run lead and remain perfect in 12 save opportunities
this season.

"He was received exactly the way I thought he would be,''
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "This is one of their fellow
countrymen and the people in Canada receive their people extremely
well and give them the credit they deserve. ... Once they did that
and responded to him, they went right back to supporting their
club.''

Dodgers left fielder Brian Jordan missed the game because of a
bruised right hand. Jordan, who will have X-rays Monday when the
team returns home, was struck on the hand by a David Roberts foul
while standing behind the batting cage.

"He was just resting his arm on the bar of the cage and the
first swing David took after bunting, he hit a ball and it hit the
net but the net is flimsy and it hit him in the hand,'' Tracy said.

Green hit his fifth homer off Livan Hernandez (3-2) with two
outs in the sixth to tie it at 1 after diving headfirst to make a
run-saving catch on Hernandez's shallow fly to right to end the
fifth.

"He made a great defensive play,'' Expos right fielder Brad
Wilkerson said. "Even with the pitcher up you don't expect him to
make that catch -- it's so shallow. And then he came back and
battled that next at-bat and that was the momentum shifter, but we
had a chance to battle back and that's all you can ask.''

Daryle Ward hit an RBI single later in the fifth inning and the
Dodgers added two more runs in the seventh to go up 4-1.

Perez (2-2) held Montreal to three hits -- including Wil
Cordero's RBI single in the fourth -- through the first six innings
before Los Angeles ran into trouble in the seventh.

The Expos, who had four-run comebacks in the seventh in each of
the first two games of the series, fell short in its latest
attempt, scoring two to draw to within 4-3 before reliever
Guillermo Mota struck out pinch hitter Jeff Liefer with a runner on
first to end the inning.

Gagne was given a warm ovation when he entered with two out in
the eighth and a runner on first to face Cordero. Jose Macias stole
second before Gagne got Cordero to ground to shortstop.

Gagne finished with a perfect ninth.

After Green's homer, Mike Kinkade walked and stole second before
Ward, who was inserted into the lineup in place of Brian Jordan
just before the game, hit an RBI single to give the Dodgers a 2-1
lead.

Los Angeles added two more runs in the seventh to chase
Hernandez. Alex Cora and Cesar Izturis singled and Perez sacrificed
to advance the runners to second and third.

Left-hander Joey Eischen relieved and, with the infield in, got
Roberts to hit a grounder to Vidro's left. Roberts got an RBI as
Cora scored when Vidro threw home up the third-base line and off
catcher Michael Barrett's glove for an error, allowing Izturis to
score an unearned run.

"I kind of rushed it a little bit,'' Vidro said. "I was
sideways and I had to turn and make a throw to try to get the guy
at the plate. It was up the line. It was a bad throw -- what can I
say?''

Hernandez allowed six hits and four runs -- three earned -- in
six-plus innings.

Game notes
Montreal OF Vladimir Guerrero and 3B Fernando Tatis did not
play. "They had the flu,'' manager Frank Robinson said. "I hope
they don't infect anybody else.'' ... Halle Berry took in the game
and did an enthusiastic job of throwing out the first ball. Berry,
who is in town filming, jumped and clapped after delivering a
strike to Expos catcher Brian Schneider. ... With time called,
Hernandez went to the dugout to change his belt -- leaving the game
ball in his glove, which he placed on the field as he crossed the
first base line -- after Cora's single in the seventh. ... The Expos
randomly distributed 5,000 Pedro Martinez bobbleheads in the second
of six such promotions this season.