Expos 2, Mets 1
-- Orlando Cabrera hit a tying home run off Armando Benitez in the ninth inning and Jose Vidro had a game-winning shot leading off the 10th as the Montreal Expos won, 2-1, today over the New York Mets.
It was 136 degrees on the artificial turf field when the game started. The Expos are 3-0 at their new part-time home, and have won four straight overall. The Mets lost their fifth in a row, and Benitez blew a save chance for the third time in eight days.
Even with the wind blowing in, Cabrera hit Benitez's third pitch into the left field bleachers. Montreal won it an inning later against Mike Stanton (0-2) when Vidro, one of the team's Puerto Rican stars, golfed a low pitch -- Stanton's first -- over the wall. The crowd responded with loud chants of "Vi-dro! Vi-dro!" and he was mobbed by teammates at home plate.
"I'm just happy that we won the game and it was me who hit the home run," he said.
Rocky Biddle (1-0) pitched two innings of two-hit relief for the win.
It was the first day game among the 22 shifted from Montreal to San Juan this season. The temperature outside Hiram Bithorn Stadium was 95 at game time, but it was 41 degrees hotter on the artificial turf, which retains heat.
Some fans used umbrellas to create shade, and some Montreal players put towels on their heads as they sat in the dugout during batting practice.
Montreal is 8-0 when the gametime temperature is above 40, and 0-4 when it is below.
Al Leiter allowed three hits in six shutout innings, but walked four, hit Fernando Tatis with a pitch twice and struck out one. The lefty got help from his fielders, who turned three double plays.
New York's Mike Piazza got an infield hit in the ninth, ending his hitless streak at 17 at-bats. Piazza fell over first as he hit the base hard with his left foot on a long stride, and came out of the game.
There was a five-man band playing through the stands, adding some more Latin flavor to the series. The crowd of 16,332 was slightly less than the first two night games, which drew 17,906 and a sellout of 18,264.