NEW YORK (AP) -- Montreal manager Frank Robinson started his
postgame remarks Tuesday night in the usual way with the usual
"We played hard," he began, "but we just didn't get it
Then he stopped and grinned. "Oh, that was yesterday," he
This time, it was different. This time, after eight straight
losses and four shutouts, the run-deprived Expos found a way to
win, using Jose Vidro's leadoff home run in the eighth inning to
edge the New York Mets 2-1.
It created a sea of smiles in a clubhouse that has been full of
frowns. The Expos have been on the road since the start of spring
training and were dragging a bit. The atmosphere changed
dramatically after the rare victory.
"I didn't think the stereo was working," Robinson cackled as
music boomed around the room. "I like hearing that. I'd like to
hear it more. It's good to hear guys laughing. That's what this
game is all about. Hopefully we can have a lot more fun the rest of
Vidro's second home run of the season broke a 1-1 tie against
reliever David Weathers (1-1). Montreal had gone 18 innings without
an extra-base hit since Brian Schneider's seventh-inning triple
Sunday at Philadelphia.
"Hopefully, this win will get us out of this slump," Vidro
said. "I just wanted to do something to get us started. It's fun
Montreal, which had been on its worst skid since the 2000
season, trailed 1-0 in the sixth before coming back.
The Expos (3-11), the worst-hitting team in the major leagues
with a .202 average, have just 22 runs this season. They are the
first team to not score more than four runs in each of its first 14
games since the 1988 Texas Rangers, according to the Elias Sport
Zach Day (1-1) limited the Mets to four hits in seven innings.
Luis Ayala pitched the eighth, and Rocky Biddle needed just six
pitches to complete the four-hitter and get his third save in three
Weathers (1-1) relieved Al Leiter to start the eighth and Vidro,
his first batter, connected on a 3-2 pitch.
It was the fourth loss in the last five games for New York and
Weathers tried to put some positive spin on the Mets' situation.
"So many people are frustrated," he said. "I can't blame
them. It's not like, `Where do we go from here?' We know we've got
players. There's more of a belief system that we can come out of
Leiter allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, striking
out four. He had a 29 1-3-inning scoreless streak dating to Sept.
17 when Montreal scored in the sixth.
"I went out knowing those guys over there are struggling a
little bit," he said. "But they've definitely got some hitters
The Mets went ahead in the first when Kaz Matsui singled,
advanced on an infield out and scored on Mike Piazza's single.
Montreal ran itself out of the fourth after Einar Diaz and Vidro
opened with singles. Orlando Cabrera grounded to shortstop, and
Matsui threw to second for the force. But Ricky Gutierrez' s relay
got away from Todd Zeile at first base. Diaz, who had stopped at
third, broke for home and was thrown out easily. Rivera then flied
Diaz was hit by a pitch in the sixth and Cabrera beat out
Montreal's third infield hit, giving the Expos two runners with two
outs. Juan Rivera then singled to center to drive in the tying run.
Zeile doubled with two outs in the bottom half and Piazza was
intentionally walked, but Mike Cameron grounded out.
Fox's broadcast team, which included Leiter during the
playoffs, won an Emmy Award on Monday night for best live sports
special for its work during the 2003 baseball postseason.