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Former Expo Helps Giants to Victory

May 06, 1997|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Jeff Kent and Mark Lewis homered to back a strong start by Mark Gardner as the San Francisco Giants beat the Montreal Expos, 4-2, Monday night.

Gardner (3-1), who began his career with the Expos, gave up two first-inning runs but followed with five shutout innings. Gardner had been 1-4 with a 5.16 earned-run average in 10 starts against his former team.

"I struggled with my location and got behind a lot of hitters," Gardner said. "We were fortunate to hit some of [San Francisco's Carlos] Perez's mistakes out of the park. They hit some loud balls but the 40 mph gusts made them loud outs."

Kent tied the score in the first with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, following a walk by Barry Bonds. Lewis' leadoff homer in the fourth off Perez (4-2) put the Giants ahead, 3-2, and Kent doubled and scored on Lewis' single in the sixth.

"I just tried to be patient and get a good pitch to hit," Lewis said. "I'm not a home-run hitter, I hit 12 all of last year, but eight of them were in the month of May, maybe that tells you something."

Said Kent: "We haven't been scoring a lot of runs, but we have played consistently. I waited on a pitch I could hit and hit it hard. It must've gone between gusts of wind."

Gardner (3-1) won his third consecutive decision and second start in a row. He gave up two runs and five hits in six innings with three walks and two strikeouts. Julian Tavarez and Jim Poole each pitched a scoreless inning and Rod Beck worked the ninth for his 12th save.

"The key to Mark Gardner is for him to settle down, he got a big out at the end of the first when he had thrown 35 pitches when they might've broken the game open,' San Francisco Manager Dusty Baker said. "After that, he minimized his pitches and he made great pitches when he had to."

Perez gave up four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"[Perez] had his usual early-inning problems, he gave up two big blows on two soft pitches," Montreal Manager Felipe Alou said. "We hit the ball well, but Gardner pitched extremely well. He had the outside corner."



WHO: Montreal Expos

WHERE: Dodger Stadium

WHEN: Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.

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