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Guerrero Extends In Win


After tipping his hat the previous night, Vladimir Guerrero took a curtain call Wednesday to acknowledge the cheering fans at Olympic Stadium.

Guerrero hit his 31st homer to extend his hitting streak to 30 games tying Arizona's Luis Gonzalez for the longest in the majors this season as Montreal beat St. Louis 4-1 to complete a three-game sweep.

With Jose Vidro on second, Guerrero hit a 396-foot shot off Larry Luebbers (1-3) with one out in the first. After entering the dugout, Guerrero came back on the field to salute the crowd of 15,322 for a lengthy standing ovation.

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  • "I liked it a lot," Guerrero said, through an interpreter, of the crowd's enthusiasm. "As long as the fans keep coming to the games, it helps the team and it will make me a better player, not just now but also for the future."

    On Tuesday night, Guerrero took Mark McGwire's advice and tipped his cap to acknowledge a standing ovation after singling to extend his hitting streak.

    Guerrero's Montreal-record streak ties him with four others, including Gonzalez, for the longest hitting streak since 1987. Benito Santiago had a 34-game streak for San Diego from Aug. 25-Oct. 2, 1987. Milwaukee's Paul Molitor hit in 39 consecutive games earlier in the same season.

    "I think he's putting an awful lot of balls in play hard," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "(He's hitting) different pitches in different locations so he's a very tough out."

    Jeremy Powell (2-5) got the victory, allowing one run and eight hits in eight innings. He threw 100 pitches, 62 for strikes, to tie his longest career outing.

    "I thought I was going to get a chance to get my first completgame but it didn't happen," Powell said. "I'm young so I still have my chances for complete games in the future."

    Ugueth Urbina pitched the ninth for his 31st save.

    "I think the whole series, we were outplayed," La Russa said. "That's why they walked out of here with three wins."

    McGwire went homerless, with a single in four at-bats, to fall one homer behind Sammy Sosa, who hit his 52nd in the second game of Chicago's doubleheader with San Francisco.

    After hitting safely in his last three at-bats the night before, Vidro doubled with two outs in the first and singled in the third for his fifth straight hit before grounding to first in the fifth.

    Edgar Renteria doubled off Powell to lead off the game, advanced to third on J.D. Drew's bunt single and scored when Powell dropped the throw to first.

    Guerrero's homer in the bottom half put Montreal ahead 2-1.

    "He does cover the plate," Luebbers said. "I'm not really happy with the result but he's a good hitter, so that's going to happen."

    Brad Fullmer's RBI single in the fifth made it 3-1 and Rondell White hit a solo shot his 18th off reliever Ricky Bottalico leading off the seventh.

    Luebbers, who was called up from Triple-A Memphis prior to the game, allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked two.

    "It's one of those games that could go either way and you've got to give credit to Montreal," Luebbers said. "(Powell) pitched a great game."

    Notes

  • Eric Davis had a 30-game hitting streak for Baltimore in 1998 and Boston's Nomar Garciaparra and Cleveland's Sandy Alomar Jr. both had 30-gamers in 1997.
  • Guerrero caught McGwire's fly to right after the towering pop struck the Olympic Stadium roof for the second out of the fifth.
  • The Cardinals did not take batting practice prior to the game.
  • The Expos drew 46,132 for the three-game series to boost their major league-low average attendance to 9,800 through 65 games.
  • Powell also went eight innings against San Diego in an 8-0 win on Aug. 9.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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