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Reds blow by Expos

The Associated Press

Guerrero hit a two-run homer in his second at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 31 games – the longest in the majors in 12 years – in the Expos’ 10-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.

Friday, August 27, 1999

Guerrero hit a two-run homer in his second at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 31 games – the longest in the majors in 12 years – in the Expos’ 10-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.

”He doesn’t get cheated, I’ll tell you that,” Cincinnati manager Jack McKeon said. ”He might be the best young and exciting player in the league. It’s well worth the price of admission to see him play.”

Expos manager Felipe Alou echoed his counterpart’s sentiments.

”He puts the bat on the ball so well, especially for a big guy,” Alou said. ”Just wait until he hits his peak.”

Guerrero drove the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning from Juan Guzman (4-1) over the wall in right-center for his 32nd homer. It’s the longest streak since San Diego’s Benito Santiago hit in 34 straight from Aug. 25-Oct. 2, 1987.

”He’s a good hitter, I can tell you,” Guzman said. ”I tried to throw him a slider for the first pitch. I tried to make a good pitch and he got me.”

Milwaukee’s Paul Molitor had a 39-game streak earlier in 1987, the longest streak since Pete Rose tied Wee Willie Keeler’s NL mark with a 44-game streak in 1978.

Guerrero came out for a curtain call for the second straight night to acknowledge the ovation from the crowd of 6,796. Guerrero also homered Wednesday to extend his streak.

The Reds improved to a major league-best 39-20 on the road and snapped a season-high four-game road losing streak. Cincinnati drew within one game of Houston in the NL Central and within three games of the New York Mets in the NL wild-card race.

”It was a really important game because we lost those three games in Atlanta, so today is like a new beginning,” Guzman said. ”We just picked it up again and played the way we’ve been playing.”

The Expos, who lead the majors with 132 errors, committed five miscues, leading to six unearned runs.

Guzman, acquired from Baltimore on July 31, won his fourth straight start in his fifth outing for the Reds. He allowed four runs – three earned – and eight hits in seven innings.

Scott Williamson pitched the last two innings for his 18th save.

Tied at 3-3 after blowing a three-run lead, Cincinnati regained the lead with two runs in the sixth off Mike Thurman (5-10) on Pokey Reese’s RBI single and Sean Casey’s sacrifice fly.

”Overall, I’m very disappointed,” Thurman said. ”We did score four runs and I expect myself to be able to win ballgames when we score four runs.”

The Expos made it 5-4 on Wilton Guerrero’s RBI single in the seventh, but Cameron’s RBI double in the eighth restored Cincinnati’s two-run margin.

Reese and Jeffrey Hammonds had run-scoring singles and Casey had a two-run single in the ninth off Anthony Telford.

Hal Morris, who went 2-for-2 with an RBI before leaving the game with a sprained right wrist, doubled in the first and later scored on a passed ball.

Morris’ run-scoring single in the third made it 2-0, and Michael Tucker hit his 10th homer leading off the fourth.

Notes: Reese and Cameron each stole two bases as Cincinnati had five steals in the game. … Guzman was 5-9 with a 4.18 ERA in 21 starts for Baltimore. … Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez had a 30-game streak earlier this season, as did Baltimore’s Eric Davis in 1998 and Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra and Cleveland’s Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1997. … Guerrero, who went 1-for-3 with a walk, is hitting .386 in the streak with 12 doubles, a triple, 11 homers and 27 RBIs. … The Expos have hit a team-record 43 homers in August.