The St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen made sure Rick Ankiel didn't win his major league debut. Ankiel was happy enough to have it behind him.
Vladimir Guerrero had three hits, including his 30th homer, to extend his streak to 28 games and Cardinals relievers allowed eight runs in three innings to help the Montreal Expos win 11-7 Monday night.
Ankiel, the top pitching prospect in baseball, allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings. He walked three and struck out six.
The left-hander, who turned 20 on July 19, went 25-9 with a 2.50 ERA in 52 minor league starts the last two seasons. Ankiel left with a 4-2 lead and did not figure in the decision.
"I thought that was the right time to get him," manager Tony La Russa said. "When he came in the dugout, I told him he did a good job."
Mark McGwire went 2-for-5 with an RBI single to remain one homer behind Sammy Sosa's major-league leading 51 home runs.
With the game tied at 6, Ryan McGuire singled off Croushore to lead off the eighth and advanced to second on Geoff Blum's sacrifice. One out later, Wilton Guerrero singled to make it 7-6.
Vidro walked and Vladimir Guerrero followed with an RBI single to make it 8-6. Barrett then hit his fifth homer a three-run shot to make it 11-6.
Anthony Telford (4-2) pitched two innings for the win.
Like Chicago's Kerry Wood last year, Ankiel made his major league debut in Montreal. Wood lost 4-1 to the Expos on April 12, 1998, and four starts later tied a major league record by striking out 20 batters in a game.
Wood is sidelined for the entire season after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery. In part because of Wood's experience, the Cardinals are being even more careful with Ankiel.
"I understand what's going on," Ankiel said. "I don't know if I've got a pitch count here but I'm sure they want to keep around the same thing."
Ankiel, who threw 80 pitches, retired the first eight batters he faced before issuing back-to-back walks to Smith and White with two outs in the third. Wilton Guerrero followed with an RBI single.
Vladimir Guerrero homered on Ankiel's first pitch of the fourth to extend his team-record hitting streak.
"The only thing I do is try to swing and so far, so good," Guerrero said through an interpreter. "So I'm going to keep swinging."
The 28-game streak ties Guerrero with Toronto's Shawn Green for the second-longest streak in the majors this season behind Luis Gonzalez's 30-gamer for Arizona.
"A 28-game streak is not easy to do, especially for a power guy," Expos manager Felipe Alou said. "But he's stayed healthy. That's key."
The Cardinals gave Ankiel a two-run lead before he even took the mound, scoring on McGwire's RBI single off Dan Smith and Fernando Tatis' run-scoring grounder.
"I think it made me a little more relaxed," Ankiel said. "I just didn't get the ball in like I needed to and it hurt me."
Adam Kennedy tripled and scored on Alberto Castillo's RBI single to make it 3-0 in the second.
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