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Montreal Exposes Mets Bullpen


With John Franco out, the bullpen is the focal point for the New York Mets these days. And on Thursday, it failed.

An eighth-inning sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Shane Andrews lifted the Expos to a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Mets.

"I hope this is the exception," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said.

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Game Summary

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  • Masato Yoshii, pounded for eight runs by Atlanta in his previous start, allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. New York led 3-1 before Vladimir Guerrero homered in the sixth on an outside fastball.

    "Vladimir was waiting for that pitch," Yoshii said. "I've gotten him out on it any times. It's almost impossible to hit."

    Yoshii, who was wearing a brace to protect a sore right knee, got Jose Fernandez on a groundout to finish the sixth. The Mets shuffled the rotation to give Yoshii an extra day of rest.

    "The leg behind the brace was cramping a little," Yoshii said. "I might have been able to pitch another inning, but the cramp only would've gotten worse."

    Turk Wendell promptly blew the lead on Orlando Cabrera's seventh-inning homer. While Franco, out 3-10 weeks with a torn tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand, has 19 saves in 20 chances, the rest of the Mets are just 10-for-14 in save opportunities.

    "It was a slider," Cabrera said. "I guess I got a good pitch to hit with two strikes on me. I just try to hit balls hard and on this one, I think the wind was blowing out a little bit."

    Then in the eighth, Wilton Guerrero tripled to left-center against Dennis Cook (7-2) and slid home easily ahead of Brian McRae's throw on Andrews' fly to medium center.

    Bobby Ayala (1-5) struck out two in two scoreless innings for the Expos, who beat the Mets for the second straight day. Ugueth Urbina pitched a scoreless ninth for his 19th save and second in less than 24 hours against the Mets.

    Cook had not allowed a run in his previous 11 appearances, a stretch of 12 2-3 innings.

    "We play pretty well against the Mets," said Expos manager Felipe Alou, whose cluis 14-8 against New York the last two seasons. "If we can get some of our young kids to pitch, we can play with anybody."

    Ryan McGuire walked in the first inning and scored on singles by Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Fernandez.

    The Mets came right back in their half and scored twice against Mike Thurman.

    "I felt like I had decent stuff out there," said Thurman, who allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. "I threw a ton of pitches the first couple innings, then I was able to reach a comfort zone."

    Edgardo Alfonzo doubled off the bottom of the wall and scored on John Olerud's double. Olerud scored when left fielder Ryan McGuire dropped McRae's slicing fly ball with two outs for an error.

    Mike Piazza hit his 19th homer in the fifth.

    Notes:

  • The Mets sent RHP Octavio Dotel to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled infielder Mike Kinkade.
  • Mets 3B Robin Ventura remains day-to-day after missing the game after bruising his left foot when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday.
  • Vladimir Guerrero (227) has the third-longest consecutive games played streak ion the major leagues behind B.J. Surhoff (244) and Johnny Damon (243).
  • Expos 2B Jose Vidro missed his second straight game with a virus.

    ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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