Series: Game 1 of 3

Philadelphia leads 1-0 (as of 4/23)

Game 1: Friday, April 23
Game 2: Saturday, April 24
Game 3: Sunday, April 25

Phillies 8

(6-9, 2-5 away)

Expos 6

(4-13, 1-6 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 23, 2004

    Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec 

    123456789 R H E
    PHI 410000111 8 12 2
    MON 100004001 6 12 1

    W: K. Millwood (2-2)

    L: C. Bentz (0-2)

    S: B. Wagner (5)

    Expos' offense not enough

    MONTREAL (AP) -- The Expos' offense woke up in their return home. It didn't do them any good.

    Bobby Abreu had four extra-base hits and five RBI, and Jim Thome homered for a third straight game to lead the Philadelphia Phillies over the Expos 8-6 Friday night.

    Montreal, which came to Olympic Stadium with a 4-12 record, had been the first team to score four runs or fewer in its first 16 games since the 1968 Chicago White Sox. Trailing 5-1, the Expos tied the score with a four-run sixth, then faltered.

    "It was good to see the bats come alive tonight and, hopefully, they'll continue to hit that way, but we just couldn't overcome that early deficit," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.

    Abreu hit a three-run homer in the first, a run-scoring double off Claudio Vargas in the second, then doubled to lead off the seventh against Chad Bentz (0-2) and scored on David Bell's RBI grounder for a 6-5 lead. Abreu added a run-scoring double in the eighth.

    "Abreu swung the bat great tonight," said Brad Wilkerson, who hit an RBI double to begin the Expos' rally in the sixth. "He was locked in all night and he did a lot of damage to us, but we had to keep plugging away. We're showing signs of putting it all together, and we've got to come out tomorrow and do the same thing."

    Thome followed Abreu's first-inning drive with his sixth home run, his fifth in seven games, and Philadelphia built a 4-0 lead before Vargas retired a batter.

    Abreu, who entered with just eight hits in 47 at-bats, raised his average from .170 to .231.

    "We need Bobby to get hot," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "It seems like he always plays good up here. He must see the ball pretty good."

    Kevin Millwood (2-2) got his second straight win against the Expos despite blowing the four-run lead. He allowed five runs -- three earned -- and 10 hits in six innings.

    "Those guys did a great job -- they got me four in the first and one more in the second, and then it's my job," Millwood said. "When you've got five runs in the first two innings, you should win that ballgame, and to allow them to come back and tie the game up, that's not a very good job by me."

    Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

    Montreal, which has scored a major league-low 32 runs, had a season-high 12 hits. The crowd of 30,112 was the smallest for a Montreal opener since 1985, when the Expos' drew 30,105 for a 5-3 win over Chicago. Friday's game coincided with the opener of the Montreal Canadiens' second-round NHL playoff series at Tampa Bay.

    The Expos played their first six home games in Puerto Rico.

    "All in all, it was a pretty good night for all the stuff that was going on in the city of Montreal," Wilkerson said. "They did a great job of supporting us and hopefully tomorrow we can put together a win for them."

    With the score 5-all, Bell avoided an inning-ending double play on his seventh-inning grounder to shortstop. Run-scoring doubles by Abreu in the eighth and Ricky Ledee in the ninth increased the lead to 8-5. Tony Batista hit an RBI grounder in the bottom half off Wagner.

    Vargas allowed five runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings.

    "Vargas dug us a big hole early in the ballgame and we just can't overcome those things," Robinson said. "Our pitchers can't let that happen because it takes us almost right out of the ballgame."

    Batista hit an RBI infield single for Montreal in the first.

    In the sixth, Wilkerson hit a run-scoring double and scored on a single by rookie Termel Sledge, who had been 1-for-35.

    Endy Chavez, recalled from Triple-A Edmonton one day earlier, hit an infield single to score Sledge and Brian Schneider came home when second baseman Placido Polanco threw the ball in the dirt and past Thome at first for an error.

    Game notes

    Abreu also hit three doubles against Cincinnati on May 4, 2000. ... The Expos have never drawn less than 30,000 for an Olympic Stadium opener since moving there from Jarry Park in 1977. ... The FieldTurf artificial surface gave the stadium a new look. ... The game was briefly delayed when a shirtless man jumped onto the field in the fourth. The fan ran straight across the field, well in front of each of the Phillies' three outfielders, into the right-field corner. Security guards surrounded him there and he was escorted from the field, yelling into the Expos' dugout as he passed.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press