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Vlad's Hit Streak Ends In Loss


Vladimir Guerrero didn't get much to swing at Friday night, and it cost him his hitting streak.

Guerrero's streak was halted at 31 games by Cincinnati's Ron Villone, who pitched seven strong innings to lead the Reds over the Montreal Expos 4-1.

"Maybe I had a pitch to hit in my first at-bat but after that, I never saw a good pitch," Guerrero said through an interpreter. "I was trying to hit the pitches, but only if they were strikes."

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Game Summary

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  • Guerrero went 0-for-2 with an intentional walk against Villone, ending the majors' longest hitting streak in 12 years. He grounded to short in the second, was intentionally walked in the fourth and shattered his bat as he fouled out to first baseman Sean Casey in the seventh. He was on deck when Jose Vidro flied out to end the game.

    "It's a great thing for baseball that guys have hitting streaks but as a pitcher, I really don't care," Villone said. "One thing I'm not looking forward to is facing a guy with a hitting streak. My job is to go out there to get him out and keep my team in the game."

    Guerrero's streak was the longest in the majors since Benito Santiago's 34-gamer with San Diego from Aug. 25-Oct. 2, 1987.

    Villone (7-4) allowed one run and three hits as Cincinnati pulled within a half-game of Houston, the NL Central leader. Danny Graves pitched one-hit ball over the final two innings for his 18th save.

    Villone, who was booed by the crowd of 8,257 at Olympic Stadium when he walked Guerrero, gave up Rondell White's 19th homer leading of the fourth.

    "I can't worry about the crowd reaction," Villone said. "I'm worried about my team and the guys behind me, their reaction."

    One out after White's homer, Vidro doubled and the crowd remained on its feet as Guerrero's name was announced. The cheers quickly turned to boos as Reds catcher Eddie Taubensee stood up behind the plate to signal that Guerrero was going to be intentionally walked.

    "I understand the situation," Guerrero said. "They were ahead 2-1, with a man on second base. It's part of the game."

    Casey went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Aaron Boone drove in two runs with a bases-loaded walk in the first and an RBI double off Dustin Hermanson (5-12) in the third.

    With one out in the first, Barry Larkin and Casey hit back-to-back singles and Dmitri Young walked to load the bases. Hermanson struck out Michael Tucker and then walked Boone to force home Larkin.

    The Reds took a 2-0 lead on Boone's RBI double in the third. After White's homer cut the lead to one, Cincinnati made it 3-1 on Casey's run-scoring single in the seventh.

    Hermanson allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked three.

    Cincinnati went ahead 4-1 in the eighth on Jeffrey Hammonds' RBI single off reliever Miguel Batista. Montreal's Brad Fullmer was thrown out at the plate to end the bottom of the eighth.

    Notes

  • The Reds are 49-14 when they score first.
  • Cincinnati first baseman Hal Morris was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his right wrist prior to the game. Catcher Jason LaRue was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and expected to join the team on Saturday.
  • The Reds are in the midst of a stretch of 15 of 18 games on the road. Cincinnati is scheduled to play 21 of its 35 remaining games on the road.
  • Mike Cameron left the game with a mildly strained left hamstring after tripling in the seventh.
  • Young tumbled as he caught White's shallow liner to left for the first out of the sixth.
  • The Expos have hit a team-record 44 homers in August, fve more than the previous record for home runs in a month set in April 1996.
  • White made a fine running catch on Villone's liner to short center for the last out of the sixth.
  • Guerrero has given the bat he homered with Thursday night to extend the streak to 31 games to the Hall of Fame.
  • The Expos released reliever Bobby Ayala following the game. Guillermo Mota has been recalled from Triple-A Ottawa.

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

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