Wednesday, June 25, 2003

NL: Wilkerson's cycle seals Expos' win

The Associated Press

MONTREAL - Brad Wilkerson became the fifth Montreal player to hit for the cycle, going 4-for-4 with four RBI while leading the Expos to a 6-4 win over the Pirates on Tuesday.

"It's just something you dream of doing as a big-league ballplayer," Wilkerson said.

He bunted for a single in the second, hit a one-hop double off the right-field wall in the fifth, and put Montreal ahead 2-1 with a two-run triple in the sixth.

In the seventh, Wilkerson drove Salomon Torres' 1-2 pitch over the center-field wall to become the first Expos player to hit for the cycle since Rondell White did it against San Francisco on June 11, 1995.

"I wasn't thinking about hitting a home run," Wilkerson said. "It was in the back of my mind, I guess - I would be lying to you if I said otherwise, but I was just trying to get the head (of the bat) out and hopefully get a pitch that I could drive in the gap and get up in the air."

It was the first cycle in the majors this season and the first time it has been performed in sequence - single, double, triple and homer - since the Chicago White Sox's Jose Valentin did it in five at-bats against Baltimore on April 27, 2000.

The two-run homer followed Jose Vidro's RBI double, giving Wilkerson a career-high four RBI for the fourth time.

Tomo Ohka (6-7) allowed four hits and one run in six innings as Montreal won for the fourth time in six games.

Jeff D'Amico (5-8) took the loss, allowing two unearned runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

After the game, Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon was livid, blaming his players for the loss of a game he felt starter D'Amico pitched well enough to win.

"Sometimes the onus has got to be on them," McClendon said. He brought the session with reporters to an abrupt end, clearing his desktop with a sweeping backhand that sent a file tray and papers flying.

Cubs 9, Brewers 1

CHICAGO - Sammy Sosa hit two of Chicago's six home runs for his first multihomer game of the season and the 59th of his career.

Kerry Wood, Mark Grudzielanek and Alex Gonzalez hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning. Corey Patterson also homered for the Cubs.

The Cubs hit back-to-back homers off Brewers starter Ruben Quevedo in the first inning, when they brought nine batters to the plate. Patterson hit a two-run homer to left field and Sosa followed with a 420-foot shot to center for his first home run at Wrigley Field since April 17.

Marlins 8, Mets 4

NEW YORK - Luis Castillo triggered a four-run sixth inning with a two-run homer and Mike Lowell had two RBI to help Florida to its fifth straight victory. The Marlins (39-39) reached the .500 mark for the first time since May 1.

Brad Penny (6-5) allowed four runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out six before leaving two batters into the seventh inning. He had been 0-7 in 10 appearances against the Mets, and 0-5 at Shea Stadium before Tuesday.

Braves 5, Phillies 3

ATLANTA - Javy Lopez homered twice and Andruw Jones also went deep against former teammate Kevin Millwood for Atlanta. Millwood lost to the Braves for the second time in less than a week.

Lopez, who batted .233 with only 11 homers in 2002, has six two-homer games this season. He has 19 homers in his last 31 games, giving him 23 for the season.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1

SAN FRANCISCO - Marquis Grissom's two-run homer was set up by a key balk call against Los Angeles starter Odalis Perez, who was ejected along with manager Jim Tracy in San Francisco's win.

Jason Schmidt had another masterful start for the Giants, throwing a four-hitter to beat the Dodgers for the second time in six days.

A tense pitchers' duel between Perez (4-6) and Schmidt (7-3) turned in the sixth inning when Perez appeared to pick off Ray Durham at first base. But umpire Angel Hernandez called a balk against Perez, and Tracy was ejected for arguing.

One out later, Grissom popped a two-out pitch over the left-field wall for his 11th homer of the season. After the inning ended, Perez was ejected when he had to be restrained from charging Hernandez.

The Dodgers threatened in the ninth when Schmidt hit Jolbert Cabrera with a pitch with one out. Daryle Ward singled to send Cabrera to third but was thrown out by shortstop Rich Aurilia when he took too wide of a turn rounding first base. Schmidt then got Adrian Beltre to ground out to end the game.

Rockies 5, Padres 2

SAN DIEGO - Darren Oliver retired the first 13 batters and Larry Walker homered for the second straight game as Colorado beat San Diego for its fourth win in a row.

Oliver (5-5), who's been awful on the road and crisp at home, took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before allowing a bloop single with one out to pitcher Adam Eaton, pinch-hitting for starter Brian Lawrence (4-9).

Oliver gave up one run and four hits in six innings. Jose Jimenez pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances.

Diamondbacks 12, Astros 5

PHOENIX - Alex Cintron homered for the second straight game and Arizona beat Houston to win its season-high seventh in a row.

Cintron also singled and doubled, driving in three runs and scoring twice.

Matt Kata hit a three-run homer in the eighth and had an RBI single for Arizona, which had a season-best 19 hits. David Dellucci went 4-for-5 with a triple and Tony Womack was 4-for-5 with a double.

Houston second baseman Jose Vizcaino broke his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch by reliever Stephen Randolph in the seventh inning.

Miguel Batista (6-3) won his third in a row, giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings.

Tim Redding (4-7) allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings.

Reds 7, Cards 4
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