- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 2, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — There was a time earlier this season when Montreal’s Terrmel Sledge looked lost at the plate. Now he’s batting fourth for the Expos.

“He’s a pretty good little hitter,” manager Frank Robinson said. “He’s worked hard to make himself better.”

Sledge hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning and the Expos opened the team’s final series before the franchise moves to Washington with a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets last night.

Sledge and Brian Schneider each drove in two runs for the Expos, who snapped a five-game losing streak. The team is relocating after 36 years in Montreal.

Sledge had two hits, raising his average to .263. His two RBI gave him 22 in the last 20 games

“I was just trying to look for a pitch out over the middle of the plate,” he said. “I knew they weren’t going to throw me middle-in. There were no outs, so I knew they were going to nibble outside and I got the pitch. I took a decent swing.”

Endy Chavez drew a leadoff walk from Pedro Feliciano (1-1) in the eighth, moved to second on Tony Batista’s single off Tyler Yates and scored on Sledge’s double to left center. Juan Rivera walked to load the bases and Schneider singled to give Montreal a 4-2 lead.

“I was glad to get a hit there,” Schneider said. “I was looking to hit the ball hard. We had a bunch of young guys behind us and it was just good to get a win and, at the same time, those guys are getting good experience and that’s a big thing for us.”

Jon Rauch (3-0) pitched one scoreless inning for the victory. Chad Cordero got three outs for his 14th save.

The Mets jumped in front quickly in the first inning against Expos starter Scott Downs.

Jose Reyes opened with a double and scored on Kaz Matsui’s single. David Wright doubled, putting runners on second and third, and Todd Zeile hit a run-scoring groundout.

Montreal got a run back in the second when Sledge walked and scored on Schneider’s single.

In the third, the Expos tied it on consecutive one-out singles by Chavez, Batista and Sledge. Mets starter Kris Benson escaped further trouble, getting Rivera to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Matsui made his first start at second base and confessed before the game that he was nervous. He had five assists and one putout and started a double play in the third.

“He made all the plays,” manager Art Howe said. “He turned a double play. He looked good.”

Matsui sounded less sure.

“I don’t know if it was good or bad,” he said. “It’s hard to evaluate myself. I was able to manage the plays today. There will be different situations.”

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