Vladimir Guerrero didn't get much to swing at last night, and it cost him his hitting streak.
Guerrero's streak was halted at 31 games by Cincinnati's Ron Villone, who pitched seven strong innings to lead the visiting Reds over the Montreal Expos, 4-1.
"Maybe I had a pitch to hit in my first at-bat but after that, I never saw a good pitch," Guerrero said through an interpreter. "I was trying to hit the pitches, but only if they were strikes."
Guerrero went 0 for 2 with an intentional walk against Villone, ending the majors' longest hitting streak in 12 years. He grounded to short in the second, was intentionally walked in the fourth and shattered his bat as he fouled out to first baseman Sean Casey in the seventh. He was on deck when Jose Vidro flied out to end the game.
"It's a great thing for baseball that guys have hitting streaks but as a pitcher, I really don't care," Villone said. "One thing I'm not looking forward to is facing a guy with a hitting streak. My job is to go out there to get him out and keep my team in the game."
Guerrero's streak was the longest in the majors since Benito Santiago's 34-game streak with San Diego from Aug. 25 to Oct. 2, 1987.
Villone (7-4) allowed one run and three hits, with three strikeouts and a walk. Danny Graves pitched one-hit ball over the final two innings for his 18th save.
Villone, who was booed by the crowd of 8,257 at Olympic Stadium when he walked Guerrero, gave up Rondell White's 19th homer leading off the fourth.
"I can't worry about the crowd reaction," Villone said. "I'm worried about my team and the guys behind me, their reaction."
One out after White's homer, Vidro doubled and the crowd remained on its feet as Guerrero's name was announced. The cheers quickly turned to boos as Reds catcher Ed Taubensee stood up behind the plate to signal that Guerrero was going to be intentionally walked.
"I understand the situation," Guerrero said. "They were ahead 2-1, with a man on second base. It's part of the game."
Casey went 3 for 5 with an RBI and Aaron Boone drove in two runs with a bases-loaded walk in the first and an RBI double off Dustin Hermanson (5-12) in the third.
ASTROS 3-1, MARLINS 2-3: Jose Lima leads the league with 17 wins and he isn't surprised.
"I've finally proved last year wasn't a fluke," Lima said after leading Houston at home in the first game of a doubleheader split.
Florida won the second game, 3-1. Former Astros first-round draft pick Ramon Castro, traded to Florida in July 1998 for Jay Powell, put the Marlins ahead with an RBI double in his first career at-bat, and Ryan Dempster took a shutout into the ninth.
As for the opener, Lima showed he's making a habit of meeting his goals.
"They laughed last year when I said I would win 15, and I won 16," Lima said. "They say I'm just a big talker."
Lima said this spring he would become a 20-game winner for the first time. Lima (17-7) allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings, striking out nine.
BRAVES 2, CARDINALS 1: Bret Boone singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth as visiting Atlanta won its season-high eighth straight game.
METS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Octavio Dotel allowed four hits in eight innings and Rey Ordonez had three RBI to lead visiting New York.
DODGERS 9, CUBS 0: In Los Angeles, Ismael Valdes pitched his first shutout in more than a year and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer.
PIRATES 4, GIANTS 1: In San Francisco, Brant Brown homered to break a sixth-inning tie and Jason Schmidt matched a career high with his 11th win.
PADRES 8, BREWERS 7: Wiki Gonzalez's chopper past a drawn-in infield drove in the winning run with one out in the ninth for host San Diego.