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Valdes Gets Little Help in 2-1 Loss to the Expos

May 05, 1999|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MONTREAL — Dodger pitcher Ismael Valdes suffered his first loss of the season in the Montreal Expos' 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Olympic Stadium.

The Expos took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning against Valdes (3-1) on Vladimir Guerrero's fifth home run and a run-scoring double by Orlando Cabrera before a crowd of 5,846.

The Dodgers dropped to 15-12 overall and 6-2 on the nine-game trip that ends today.

Dodger catcher Todd Hundley continued his hot hitting with his fourth homer in the seventh against Expo starter Carl Pavano (1-4).

Pavano--winless in his first five starts with a 7.83 earned-run average--matched his career high by working 7 1/3 strong innings.

He struck out six without a walk and left to a standing ovation.

Valdes pitched six innings, giving up seven hits. He struck out five and walked three while throwing 103 pitches, including 62 strikes.

The Dodgers stranded the potential tying run at third in the eighth. Devon White singled to open the inning and stole second with one out and third with two out, but Mark Grudzielanek flied to right to end the threat.

Adrian Beltre tripled with one out in the third, but Valdes and Grudzielanek struck out.

Hundley's homer in the seventh cut Montreal's lead to 2-1. Hundley crushed a 3-and-1 pitch from Pavano, homering to right. In his last four games, Hundley is batting .467 (seven for 15) with two homers, two doubles and seven runs batted in, raising his average to .217.

In the fourth, Montreal pounded three extra-base hits in the inning against Valdes and had a runner thrown out at the plate.

With one out, Guerrero hit a towering homer to left. With two out, Valdes walked Shane Andrews, putting runners at first and second. Chris Widger scored from second on Cabrera's double.

It was not surprising that Guerrero got things going for the Expos. The right fielder had a breakthrough season last season, batting .324 with 38 homers and 109 RBIs.

Guerrero is off to another good start with five homers and 20 RBIs. His older brother, Wilton, though is struggling.

The Dodgers traded Wilton to the Expos in a seven-player deal before last season's non-waiver trading deadline, finally giving up on the talented infielder. Wilton embraced the trade, viewing it as an opportunity to play with his brother and learn from respected Montreal Manager Felipe Alou.

But Wilton's status as the Expos' everyday second baseman is in jeopardy because he is batting only .224 and has committed seven errors. Wilton was not in the starting lineup in the first two games of the series against the Dodgers.

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