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Expos' Relievers Score Big Win


Montreal's no-name pitching staff has suddenly turned San Diego's bats deathly silent.
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  • Rookie Mike Thurman and three relievers held San Diego to three hits and former Padre Scott Livingstone had a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning to give the Expos a 2-1 victory Sunday.

    The Expos handed Kevin Brown (17-5) just his second loss in his last 16 decisions. Brown was trying to become the Padres' first 18-game winner since Andy Hawkins in 1985.

    After losing 12-8 Friday night in the opener of the four-game series, the Expos have won two consecutive games from the NL West-leading Padres. Former Padres pitcher Dustin Hermanson and three relievers held San Diego to just three hits in a 3-1 victory Saturday night.

    These guys aren't household names but they're pitching like ones.

    "I think that's something every pitcher on the staff is capable of," Thurman said. "It's just a matter of experience, and following Hermy helps me out, because he's so intense out there, it's a little contagious."

    Thurman had allowed just one hit when he was pulled after walking Ken Caminiti and Greg Vaughn opening the sixth.

    "I have never been so unhappy coming out of a game only giving up one hit," Thurman said. "It's kind of freaky. I can't fault Felipe (Alou, the manager) for taking me out. Looking back, I should have gone after Caminiti a little bit more. Same thing with Vaughn.

    "We won, and Bully got his first win. I did it on purpose," Thurman joked.

    Thurman was relieved by Kirk Bullinger (1-0). Bullnger, making his major league debut, balked on his first pitch to move the runners to second and third. However, he got out of the jam by retiring the side on a ground ball, a strikeout and fly ball.

    Afterward, Bullinger was able to joke about the balk.

    "Hermanson was saying, `It'd be a good story for your kids -- `Daddy, what was your first pitch?' `A balk.' It was an inauspicious beginning, but it all worked out in the end."

    Steve Kline pitched a perfect 1 2-3 innings, with two strikeouts, before Ugueth Urbina came on to face Vaughn with two out in the eighth. Vaughn singled and stole second, but Urbina struck out Sweeney and finished for his career-high 28th save.

    The Padres got the tying run to second with two outs in the ninth off Urbina, but pinch-hitter Wally Joyner grounded out.

    "I thought we struggled as bad offensively as much as we had all year," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're just quiet with the bats right now."

    Orlando Cabrera doubled off Brown with one out in the seventh and Livingstone, pinch-hitting for Bullinger, drove him in with a single to right. Cabrera finished 3-for-4.

    Thurman, making just his 10th big-league start, held the Padres to just one single and one run in five-plus innings.

    Brown threw his sixth complete game of the year, allowing two runs and eight hits with 10 strikeouts.

    Brown said he made a bad pitch to Livingstone.

    "I'm one pitch away from getting out of there and we're still playing now," Brown said. "Bad break, I don't care what you want to call it. If he hits it right to someone, flies out, whatever, it's not as bad of a pitch."

    The Expos scored first for the third consecutive game. Wilton Guerrero hit a leadoff single and eventually scored on Brown's wild pitch.

    San Diego tied it 1-1 in the fourth. Quilvio Veras got a leadoff single for the Padres' first hit and took second on Steve Finley's grounder and third on a bizarre wild pitch by Thurman.

    Thurman's pitch bounced up and under a flap on catcher Bob Henley's mask, striking him in the throat. Henley was forced out of the game, replaced by Chris Widger, but said afterward that he's OK.

    Ken Caminiti then lofted a fly ball to right. Vladimir Guerrero leaped to make the catch up against the out-of-town scoreboard on the right-field wall but dropped the ball after landing and trying to take it out of his glove. Veras scored and Guerrero was charged with an error as Caminiti took second.

    Notes

  • Padres first baseman Joyner missed his fourth consecutive start and sixth in nine games. He has a strained right quadriceps, and also has had a sore knee and back.
  • The crowd of 21,765 put the Padres over 2 million in attendance for the fifth time in team history and the third consecutive season. The Padres are on pace to draw between 2.5 million and 2.6 million, which would shatter the 1985 club record of 2,210,352.
  • Bochy said it looks like Tony Gwynn (inflameleft Achilles' tendon) should be activated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

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