Expos enjoy home field advantage

Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003

MONTREAL -- Back in Canada, the Montreal Expos showed off their first-place team to their fans.

Wil Cordero and Jose Vidro homered to back Tomo Ohka (2-2), and the Expos beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 in their home opener Tuesday night.

The Expos' first 10 ''home games'' were moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, by the commissioner's office to raise revenue, and Montreal will return to the island in June and September for a pair of six-game ''homestands.''

After the Expos won six games in the Caribbean, Montreal was welcomed by a crowd of 36,879, the largest Olympic Stadium crowd since 45,183 came to the 2001 home opener.

Pirates 5, Giants 2

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Suppan won his fourth straight start and Jesse Foppert was roughed up in his first start for San Francisco, with Pittsburgh turning a five-run first inning into a victory over the Giants.

The Giants (15-4), shorthanded with star Barry Bonds out with a sore neck, lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

Suppan (4-0), who has a 1.37 ERA, gave up one run and five hits over eight innings.

Dodgers 2, Reds 1

CINCINNATI -- Brian Jordan's run-scoring single in the eighth inning gave Los Angeles a win over Cincinnati in the first low-scoring game at Great American Ball Park.

Cesar Izturis tied it with a two-out RBI single in the seventh, and Jordan decided it with another two-out single in the eighth off Paul Wilson (0-2), who lasted 7 2-3 innings.

Paul Shuey (2-1) got the victory in relief of Kazuhisa Ishii, who struck out seven and gave up one run in six innings. Eric Gagne struck out three in a hitless ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.

Astros 6, Mets 2

NEW YORK -- Tim Redding allowed one run in six innings to win for the first time in nearly 11 months, and Richard Hidalgo homered to help slumping Houston beat New York.

Jeff Kent and Orlando Merced hit RBI doubles in the first inning against David Cone (1-3) as the Astros got off to a quick start and won for just the third time in 10 games.

Cone had a short night, leaving after the second inning with a sore left hip. He is day to day, but the 40-year-old's spot in the rotation -- and comeback -- could be in jeopardy with Pedro Astacio expected to come off the disabled list this week.

Phillies 5, Rockies 2

PHILADELPHIA -- Moved up a day in the rotation, Kevin Millwood allowed one run and three hits in six innings to lead Philadelphia over Colorado.

Brett Myers had been scheduled to start, but Phillies manager Larry Bowa made the change to keep Millwood (3-1) on his regular pattern of four days' rest.

Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances, completing a five-hitter.

Marlins 4, Brewers 2

MIAMI -- Ivan Rodriguez drove in three runs, including two with a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, and Florida beat Milwaukee.

The Marlins' bullpen, which came in last in the NL with a 5.61 ERA, shut out the Brewers over the final two innings.

Armando Almanza (1-0) pitched the eighth and Braden Looper worked the ninth for his third save in four chances, retiring Eric Young on a fly ball with runners on second and third to end it.

Valerio De Los Santos (0-1) took the loss.

Braves 5, Cardinals 3

ATLANTA -- Gary Sheffield homered, doubled and drove in three runs to the delight of his own cheering section in right field as Atlanta beat St. Louis.

For the first time this season, eight fans in the upper deck unfurled a banner that read ''Sheff's Chefs.'' All donned chef costumes, including the hats, and praised Sheffield throughout the game.

As he was rounding the bases after his solo home run in the fifth, they responded with ''we're not worthy'' bows.

Cubs 7, Padres 2

CHICAGO -- The Cubs made Brian Lawrence pay for hitting a major league-high three batters in one inning, converting the plunks into four runs against San Diego.

Corey Patterson homered and had three RBIs, and Damian Miller drove in three runs with his first triple since 1998. The Cubs have won eight of 10, while the Padres have lost five straight.

Lawrence (2-2) lost control in the fourth, hitting Sammy Sosa, Hee Seop Choi and Mark Bellhorn.

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