Injuries: AL | NL
  Weekly Lineup
  Message Board
  Minor Leagues
  MLB Stat Search


Sport Sections
  Saturday, Jul. 15 4:15pm ET
Expos end losing streak, beat nemesis Trachsel

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Relief for the Montreal Expos came from a starting pitcher.

Dustin Hermanson
Hermanson unleashes 'animal' inside him

Oh, closer Steve Kline did get the last five outs to finish Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But it was the pitching of right-hander Dustin Hermanson that put the Expos in a position to break a four-game losing streak.

Hermanson (7-7) pitched 7 1/3 strong innings to win for the first time since June 22, shutting out the Devil Rays before giving up a run in the eighth. He won for just the second time in his last 10 starts, allowing seven hits while striking out one and walking one in his longest outing since April 21.

"I'll admit it's been a pretty tough season for me so far, but I plan on changing that starting now," Hermanson said.

"The little animal that's inside of me is not going to leave any more. Actually the beast that's inside me. The only time I have that little beast in me is when I'm out on the mound. Other than that, I try to be Mr. Nice Guy."

Vladimir Guerrero drove in two runs with sacrifice flies and the Expos scored an unearned run in the second inning off Steve Trachsel (6-9). Kline replaced Hermanson with one out in the eighth and earned his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

"We hit well here all three games. We got a lot of hits and we put some runs on the board, but the starting pitching wasn't as good as today," Expos manager Felipe Alou said after his team avoided being swept by the Devil Rays. "We really had a pitching duel out there. I hadn't seen that for a while."

Trachsel, who scattered 10 hits, struck out six and walked two in eight innings, had been 6-0 in 11 starts against Montreal -- all while he was with the Chicago Cubs.

"You can't pitch much better than he did," Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild said. "He gave up some hits, but he threw the ball very well."

Miguel Cairo and Felix Martinez opened the eighth with singles for Tampa Bay. Pinch-hitter Bubba Trammell drove in Cairo with a one-out grounder.

The Expos added two runs in the ninth on Peter Bergeron's RBI single and Guerrero's sacrifice fly off Jim Mecir.

Montreal loaded the bases with no outs on first-inning singles by Bergeron, Jose Vidro and Wilton Guerrero, but they only got one run out of it on Vladimir Guerrero's broken-bat sacrifice fly.

"It was two broken bats, a bunt and a bloop over shortstop. You can't be upset with that," Trachsel said. "They got the placement when they needed it, and we didn't."

The Devil Rays starter allowed an unearned in the second when Michael Barrett doubled with one out and scored when left fielder Steve Cox mishandled Bergeron's two-out single for an error.

Tampa Bay failed to take advantage of opportunities to cut into a 2-0 deficit in the third and fourth innings.

Jose Guillen was thrown out at the plate on play in which Montreal catcher Chris Widger suffered a mild concussion in the third. Greg Vaughn led off the fourth with a double, but couldn't score on John Flaherty's two-out single.

Guillen, attempting to score from second on Gerald Williams' single, appeared to catch Widger in the side of the head with his knee when he slammed into the catcher, who was blocking the plate.

Widger held onto the throw from left fielder Terry Jones and Guillen was called out. The catcher remained on the ground for a couple of minutes before getting up and walking off the field with help from a trainer and manager Felipe Alou.

Hermanson retired eight in a row before Flaherty singled with two outs in the seventh. He got out of the inning when the next batter, Guillen, grounded into a double play.

Game notes
Widger's status is listed as day to day ... Bergeron, 3-for-4 with a walk, finished the series 8-for-13 ... Trachsel made his team-high 20th start for Tampa Bay, marking his seventh straight season with 20-plus starts. He hasn't missed a scheduled turn on the mound since his lone stint on the disabled list with the Cubs in 1994, a stretch of 182 consecutive starts ... Vidro (1-for-5) leads the NL with 124 hits. Vladimir Guerrero (0-for-2) has 118. The Expos team record for a tandem is 387 by Al Oliver (204) and Andre Dawson (183) in 1982 ... The game drew a crowd of 19,366, which turned out despite a nasty thunderstorm. The Devil Rays offered each a fan an opportunity to exchange their ticket stubs for one of two future home dates against Minnesota and Kansas City.

Baseball Scoreboard

Montreal Clubhouse

Tampa Bay Clubhouse

Cleveland 6
Pittsburgh 4

Boston 6
NY Mets 4

Detroit 11
Houston 6

Atlanta 7
Baltimore 3

Oakland 6
San Francisco 2

Philadelphia 7
Toronto 3

Texas 6
Arizona 5

Anaheim 6
Los Angeles 2

Montreal 4
Tampa Bay 1

Florida 0
NY Yankees 0

Chi. White Sox 15
St. Louis 7

Chicago Cubs 8
Minnesota 4

Kansas City 7
Milwaukee 4

San Diego 4
Seattle 1

Cincinnati 7
Colorado 4