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Expos End Yankees Win Streak


Andy Pettitte will be happy to leave the baserunning to his teammates in the future.

The New York Yankees' nine-game winning streak ended Thursday night when the Montreal Expos took advantage of Pettitte's sudden exit as a result of a twinge in his hip and rallied for seven runs in the seventh inning for a 7-5 victory.

"I felt a catch in my left hip," Pettitte said. "I couldn't stretch it out but I feel nothing now."

Pettitte thought that the twinge may have come about when he ran out a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning.

"Running down to first I may have jammed something when I missed the bag, but I felt fine," Pettitte said. "I felt like I had great stuff. I felt really sharp but we've got a great bullpen and we're up big in the standings so it makes it easier to be cautious in that situation."

Vladimir Guerrero began the Expos' outburst with a double and capped it with a three-run double. Montreal came back against five pitchers, making the Yankees the last team in the majors to lose an interleague game this season.

"I came up with a real important hit for the team and then I came up in a situation where I could produce and I came through," Guerrero said with teammate Miguel Batista interpreting. "On both occasions I did what I was supposed to do. I helped keep the team in the game and in that way we won."

Pettitte took a 5-0 lead into the seventh. But Guerrero led off with a double and scored when Rondell White followed with a double, with second baseman Chuck Knoblauch mishandling the relay for an error.

Yankees manager Joe Torre immediately came to the mound and, after a brief discussion with Pettitte, took out the left-hander. Reliever Mike Stanton was given as much time as he needed to warm up.

"He was picking his leg up, trying to stretch it out and I saw him after he had given up the double to White, he was doing it again on the way back to the mound from home plate," Torre said. "That's when I went out."

"He just felt that he would be all right to pitch with it. He wasn't going to lie to me. It was just a matter of I didn't want to take a chance and have him pitch with it," he said.

Before the game, the Yankees put center fielder Bernie Williams on the 15-day disabled list, a day after he sprained his right knee with an awkward slide. Torre wasn't abouto speculate on the extent of Pettitte's injury.

"We'll see," Torre said. "He'll come to the ballpark. It's not something debilitating, but it was something that seemed to be bothering him for an inning or so tonight. We'll have to wait and see how he feels tomorrow and his work day."

Stanton gave up a walk and a single that loaded the bases, and pinch-hitter Jose Vidro had a sacrifice fly that made it 5-2.

After another walk, Jeff Nelson (3-3) relieved and allowed a two-run double to pinch-hitter Brad Fullmer. Nelson issued an intentional walk and Graeme Lloyd struck out pinch-hitter Scott Livingstone.

Darren Holmes replaced Lloyd and gave up Guerrero's go-ahead double. Guerrero was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple to end the inning.

"I kept throwing fastballs," Holmes said. "He kept fouling them off down the right-field line. Joe (Girardi) called a slider, maybe I should have gone with it, but I didn't want to throw him something off-speed when he was fouling my fastball off down the right-field line."

"I don't second-guess what I threw him, he just hit it and he didn't hit it at anybody."

Marc Valdes (1-3) was the winner and Ugueth Urbina got his 15th save.

Expos starter Carl Pavano had retired the previous 10 batters when Tino Martinez reached safely on first baseman Ryan McGuire's error.

Darryl Strawberry walked and Chad Curtis singled to load the bases. Scott Brosius and Joe Girardi hit two-run singles for a 4-0 lead.

Martinez hit a one-out homer off Valdes in the sixth to make it 5-0.

Notes

  • New York has the best road record in the majors at 21-8. The Yankees have won 20 of their last 24 road games since going 1-4 to begin the season.
  • Pavano struck out the side in the second.

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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