Padres rally in the 9th

Expos defeated by Ojeda's bloop single

Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2004

SAN DIEGO - Back when they faced each other back home in Mexico, Miguel Ojeda was always left frustrated by Luis Ayala.

"Ayala owns me," Ojeda, the San Diego Padres' backup catcher, said with a smile after paying back his countryman on Monday night.

Ojeda hit Ayala's hanging slider for a bloop RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Padres a 3-2 win over the Montreal Expos.

"It's better to get a game-winning hit in the big leagues," Ojeda said. "It's a big, big hit. I'm trying to take my best shot every time I go up to hit."

Ojeda hit the first pitch he saw from Ayala (0-3) into left-center field. Jay Payton started the winning rally with a single to left and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Adam Eaton, who pinch-hit for Akinori Otsuka (2-1). Khalil Greene flied out to right, bringing up Ojeda, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and stayed in as catcher.

Otsuka threw two perfect innings, striking out one. He lowered his ERA to 0.82.

"He's been outstanding," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We needed someone to shut them down and he did it. He's saved us a few times this year."

Montreal reliever Chad Bentz of Juneau did not see action, but Expos lefty reliever Rigo Beltran did make his first appearance since being called up from AAA Edmonton earlier in the day. Beltran, who threw a scoreless inning, is a 34-year-old journeyman who was added to the roster to give the Expos more than one lefty in the bullpen. Outfielder Val Pascucci also was called up from Edmonton and made his major league debut on Monday.

"I think (Beltran is) capable of going more than one inning or just facing left-handed hitters," Expos manager Frank Robinson told reporter Bill Ladson. "It will give me an opportunity to not overuse or overexpose Bentz."

Bochy was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing with plate umpire Joe Brinkman after Livan Hernandez was awarded first on obstruction.

Hernandez popped up a bunt and had to jump over reliever Scott Linebrink, who was sprawled across the base path after sliding feet first while unsuccessfully trying to catch the ball. Catcher Ramon Hernandez threw out Livan Hernandez, but Robinson argued with first base umpire Tim Tschida and the call was changed.

The Expos rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the sixth and chase Padres starter Jake Peavy.

Jose Vidro hit an RBI double off the front of the home run porch in right and was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Brad Wilkerson doubled and scored on Tony Batista's single down the right-field line.

Hernandez, who's dominated the Padres during his career, held them hitless for 3 2/3 innings, then gave up a walk and three straight hits to fall behind 2-0. San Diego's first run scored when Jay Payton hit an infield single that bounced over Hernandez and was knocked down on Vidro's backhand attempt.

Ramon Hernandez followed with a bloop to shallow left that fell in between Matt Cepicky and shortstop Orlando Cabrera.

"That one inning, you have to roll your eyes," Expos catcher Brian Schneider said. "They didn't hit the ball hard that inning. But a hit's a hit and a run's a run."

Said Robinson: "What more can you ask from a guy? The three hits he gave up in that inning were not crushed."

Hernandez allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out six and walked three. Peavy struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. He walked one.

Reds 5, Pirates 2

PITTSBURGH - Sean Casey's two-run homer backed Aaron Harang's effective pitching, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates despite losing Austin Kearns indefinitely with a broken forearm.

Harang (2-0) gave up two runs in six innings, including Craig Wilson's solo homer in the sixth, and beat Pittsburgh for the second time in two starts. He gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked one.

Danny Graves pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances, and his third in the four-game series.

Ryan Freel, Kearns' replacement, hit an RBI triple in the third, and Adam Dunn hit a two-run double in the seventh for the Reds.

Jason Kendall followed Jack Wilson's triple with an RBI groundout in the fifth. Ryan Vogelsong (1-3) walked six in four innings and gave up three runs and four hits in his third straight loss.

Kearns, the Reds' right fielder, was hit on the left arm and wrist by Vogelsong's pitch two batters after Casey's homer put Cincinnati up 2-0 in the first.

Marlins 6, Rockies 3

DENVER - Carl Pavano pitched eight strong innings and Miguel Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez each hit a two-run homer for Florida.

Hee Seop Choi also hit a home run for the Marlins, who scored all of their runs in the first inning off Scott Elarton (0-4).

Pavano (2-0) allowed two runs and scattered five hits as Florida improved to 13-6, the best start in franchise history.

Diamondbacks 9, Cubs 0

PHOENIX - Richie Sexson hit the longest home run in Bank One Ballpark history and Randy Johnson struck out 10, helping Arizona snap Chicago's six-game winning streak.

Sexson's two-run shot off reliever Francis Beltran in the sixth traveled an estimated 503 feet and smacked off his own image halfway up the video screen in center field, smashing several lights.

It was Sexson's 200th career home run and ninth this season.

Johnson (2-2) improved to 12-0 in 13 career starts against the Cubs. He pitched two-hit ball for seven innings and had an RBI single as the Diamondbacks won for the fourth time in five games. He walked none.

Giants 3, Braves 2

SAN FRANCISCO - Jason Schmidt earned his first win of the season in San Francisco's victory over Atlanta.

Ray Durham hit an RBI triple and Edgardo Alfonzo an RBI double with two outs in the Giants' three-run third.

Barry Bonds went 0-for-1 with three walks, two intentional, leaving the six-time NL MVP with 667 career homers.

Schmidt (1-2) became the first of San Francisco's top three starters to win this year - lefty Kirk Rueter is 0-2 and right-hander Brett Tomko is 0-1.


Blue Jays 6, Twins 1

MINNEAPOLIS - Ted Lilly tossed a two-hitter, giving Toronto's struggling starters a big boost and leading the Blue Jays to a victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Lilly struck out eight and walked two. He's the first Blue Jays starter to win this year other than AL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.

Orlando Hudson had three hits and Josh Phelps drove in two runs with a double.

Michael Cuddyer spoiled Lilly's shutout bid on the first pitch of the sixth with his first home run of the season.

Mariners at Orioles, postponed, rain

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners were eager to end their losing streaks Monday night.

They never got the chance.

A steady rain postponed their game two hours before it was to begin. It will be made up on Aug. 3 as part of a day-night doubleheader.

The rainout meant last-place Seattle would have to wait at least another day to end its five-game skid, and the Orioles would have an additional 24 hours to ponder a two-game slide that dropped them out of first place in the AL East.

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