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NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Expos Edge Braves on Mordecai's Walk

July 27, 2001|Associated Press

Mike Mordecai was looking for a pitch that never came.

"I just tried to be patient and get a good pitch to hit," Mordecai said Thursday night after he fouled off four consecutive full-count pitches before drawing a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning that gave the Montreal Expos a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Montreal.

The Braves lost for only the fifth time in 24 road games to fall into a tie for the National League East lead with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Michael Barrett doubled with one out in the 10th to chase Steve Reed (2-1). Mike Remlinger got pinch-hitter Fernando Seguignol to ground to shortstop Mark DeRosa, who misplayed the ball for his fourth error in five games as Barrett advanced to third.

"I just told him, 'Don't worry about it, we'll get a ground ball right here and we'll get out of it,' " Remlinger said. "I just didn't get the ground ball."

Jose Vidro pinch-hit and was intentionally walked to load the bases. Mordecai, who entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and remained at second base, looked at two strikes before taking three consecutive balls from Remlinger.

"Being a veteran guy like he is, a lot of times they'll throw it just close enough to see if you'll bite," Mordecai said.

He fouled off the next four pitches before taking an outside pitch to force in the winning run.

St. Louis 3, Chicago 1--Mark McGwire hit two home runs and rookie Bud Smith pitched seven solid innings for the Cardinals at Chicago.

McGwire has 570 home runs, three behind Harmon Killebrew for fifth place on the all-time list. He has homered in three consecutive games and has nine in his last 15 games since the All-Star break.

While McGwire's batting average is still only .205, each of his last six hits have been home runs. "It was an opportune time for Big Mac to discover that home-run stroke," Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa said.

McGwire has pushed forward despite injuries, including a 36-game stint on the disabled list.

Houston 3, Pittsburgh 2--Craig Biggio hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to lead the Astros at Pittsburgh.

Dave Mlicki (2-0) ended his four-game losing streak against the Pirates. The winless drought covered nine starts and four years.

Jason Schmidt (6-6) fell to 0-9 against the Astros.

Philadelphia 3, New York 2--Marlon Anderson singled to start a two-run rally in the eighth inning, then was carried off the field after an awkward fall in the ninth at New York.

Jimmy Rollins hit a two-out, tiebreaking run-scoring single off Rey Ordonez's glove to lead the Phillies to their third consecutive victory.

Manager Larry Bowa initially feared that Anderson would be sidelined for the season, but the second baseman suffered only a strained left hamstring after his foot skidded on the first-base bag as he ran out a ground ball. "I thought he broke an ankle or blew out his knee, and it was just a hamstring," Bowa said. "Worst-case scenario, he's out two weeks. We can deal with that. It could have been a lot worse."

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