Blank collects two hits, victory for Expos

NEW YORK (AP) -- There was almost as much talk in the Montreal
clubhouse about Matt Blank's hitting as there was about his

Blank earned his second major league victory, pitching 5 2/3
innings Thursday night as the Expos beat the New York Mets 10-3.

Blank also had two hits, including an RBI single in a four-run

"He just walked a guy and I figured I was going to get a
fastball," Blank said.

"He (Mets reliever Dicky Gonzalez) didn't want to fall behind
the pitcher. I got a fastball and pulled it in the hole."

Blank (2-2), who has won his last two decisions, is now hitting
.500 with four hits in eight at-bats this season.

Montreal ended a three-game losing streak and also snapped the
Mets' season-high four-game winning streak.

"We needed that badly," Expos manager Jeff Torborg said.
"That was kind of an interesting game, we got two runs early and
then we gave three right back."

Jose Vidro's solo homer and Orlando Cabrera's RBI grounder gave
the Expos a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

"I made one mistake," said Blank, "but it was a big mistake
with two runners on."

Benny Agbayani's three-run homer gave the Mets a brief 3-2 lead
in the first.
Vladimir Guerrero's two-run homer put the Expos ahead for good
at 4-3 in third inning.

Blank helped himself with a fifth-inning double and an RBI
single in a four-run sixth as the Expos outhit New York 14-7.

Montreal finished Mets starter Kevin Appier (4-7) with the
four-run sixth.

"I stunk. I felt kind of beat up," said Appier, who put the
first four Expos on in the sixth with an infield single on which he
failed to cover first base, a walk, his own throwing error on an
attempted sacrifice and another walk that forced home a run.

"By the sixth inning, I felt like I was 3-0 on everybody. It
was hard to throw strikes. I wish I had an excuse like I was ill or
something," said Appier.

Blank allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits. He struck
out six and walked three.

Appier gave up eight runs -- seven earned -- and eight hits in
five-plus innings.

Montreal increased the lead to 8-3 in the sixth on Appier's
bases-loaded walk to Geoff Blum, Gonzalez's bases-loaded wild
pitch, Blank's RBI single and Rob Ducey's sacrifice fly.

Montreal added two more off Turk Wendell in the seventh on
Michael Barrett's RBI single and Minor's sacrifice fly.

Game notes
Appier made his first career appearance against Montreal.
... Guerrero's homer was his second of the series. Two of his three
hits in the four games were homers. ... Joe McEwing left the game
with a strained left hamstring incurred running to first base in
the first inning. ... Stevens stole his first base of the season in
the sixth inning.