Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Dodgers leads 1-0 (as of 4/30)

Game 1: Friday, April 30
Montreal4Final
LA Dodgers13
Game 2: Saturday, May 1
Montreal4Final
LA Dodgers5
Game 3: Sunday, May 2
Montreal6Final
LA Dodgers4

Expos 4

(5-19, 3-12 away)

Dodgers 13

(14-8, 8-5 home)

    10:10 PM ET, April 30, 2004

    Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California 

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    MON 000200101 4 8 0
    LA 20010415 - 13 15 1

    W: K. Ishii (4-1)

    L: Z. Day (2-2)

    Lo Duca gets rare home run

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Even though Paul Lo Duca doesn't hit home runs as frequently as he once did, he hasn't forgotten what it feels like when he gets all of a pitch.

    Lo Duca ended a 65-game homerless drought and Shawn Green also homered for the Los Angeles Dodgers in an 13-4 victory over the Montreal Expos on Friday night.

    "I hit that ball good. If that wasn't going out, I was going to come in and scream," Lo Duca said. "I've actually hit four or five balls this year that have hit the wall, so I'm not really concerned about it. If we keep scoring runs like this, I could care less."

    Lo Duca, who entered the game third in the NL with a .411 average, has shortened his stroke this season and employed a different stance to become a better contact hitter. But with the bases empty in the fourth, he hit a drive to left-center for his first homer since July 30 at Philadelphia.

    "I was looking at some tapes from the last couple of years, and I just felt like I kept getting taller and taller in the batter's box," he said. "It sounds weird, but I've always felt more comfortable as a two-strike hitter. So I've gotten into my two-strike stance, and I'm flattening my bat out just trying to make more solid contact."

    Lo Duca hit a career-high 25 homers in 2001, then dipped to 10 the following season and hit seven last year. Manager Jim Tracy prefers this approach from Lo Duca and doesn't want him trying for home runs.

    "This is exactly the way we want him to be," Tracy said. "We don't want him to swing for the fences because he gets himself into trouble when he does. He ends up becoming very pull-conscious and starts hitting a lot of flyballs. He's a much better offensive player when he's using the whole field and putting the ball in play."

    Kazuhisa Ishii (4-1) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, helping send the Expos to their fifth straight loss and 16th in 19 games. He struck out two and walked two.

    After Lo Duca's homer gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, Juan Encarnacion added a two-run single that chased Expos starter Zach Day (2-2) and helped break the game open.

    Jason Grabowski and Alex Cora greeted reliever Chad Bentz with RBI singles to cap the four-run sixth. Cesar Izturis had an RBI single in the seventh for an 8-3 lead.

    The Dodgers tacked on five more runs in the eighth off Rocky Biddle. Reliever Duaner Sanchez delivered two of them with his first major league hit, a ground-rule double into the left-field corner. Roberts tripled home two more and scored on Izturis' sacrifice fly.

    "We hit rock-bottom tonight. This is as low as we can go," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "It was a bad ballgame all the way around. We got embarrassed. Something has to wake us up, and I'm hoping this will make us mad and more determined."

    Day, who came in with a streak of 14 consecutive scoreless innings, was charged with five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3. It was only the second time in his last 28 starts that the right-hander allowed two or more home runs.

    "I threw strikes the whole game, but I just missed on those two pitches and they did what they were supposed to do." Day said. "A lot of times you get away with a couple of mistakes, but tonight I didn't."

    Expos cleanup hitter Tony Batista grounded out with a man on second to end the first, and Orlando Cabrera grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners in the third. But the Expos broke through with two runs in the fourth to tie it 2-all.

    Batista singled, stole second and scored on a single to right by Brad Wilkerson -- sliding in just under Lo Duca's tag after a perfect throw by Encarnacion. Wilkerson continued to second on the throw and came home when Valentino Pascucci singled off the glove of third baseman Adrian Beltre for his first major league hit.

    Ishii, who recorded his first career shutout and complete game with a four-hitter in his previous start, was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Izturis tripled and scored on Beltre's groundout, before Green tucked his fourth home run inside the right-field pole.

    Beltre finished April with 20 RBI after having 11 at this stage last season. He was penciled in to bat third this season before the acquisition of Milton Bradley, but was in the No. 3 hole for the first time because Bradley was sidelined with inflammation in his left ankle.

    Game notes


    Roberts stole second in the seventh, making him 15-for-15. It's the best start by a Dodgers basestealer since 1995, when Raul Mondesi was successful on his first 17 attempts. ... Bradley was a second-round draft pick by the Expos in June 1996. ... No one on the Expos' roster has had a three-RBI game this season. ... This was the Dodgers most productive game since April 20th, 2003, when they scored 16 against San Francisco.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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