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Updated: Thursday, September 11, 2003 8:00 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Chicago Cubs
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
2 7 1
Montreal Expos
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 11 3
W Ohka (9-12)
L Prior (15-6)
S Eischen (1)
Recap | Box Score | Lineup | ScoreCast | Game Log | How They Scored | Today's Scoreboard
MONTREAL 3, CHICAGO CUBS 2
 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Ticker) -- The Montreal Expos ' Puerto Rico experiment came to a positive conclusion.

Tomo Ohka took a shutout into the ninth inning and Orlando Cabrera collected three hits and as the Expos posted a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs .

After surrendering Cubs starter Mark Prior 's leadoff double in the third inning, Ohka (9-12) retired 18 of 20 batters, including 10 straight before surrendering a single to Sammy Sosa to open the ninth.

Moises Alou followed with an infield single, ending Ohka's day. After closer Rocky Biddle walked Aramis Ramirez to load the bases, Eric Karros delivered a run-scoring single. Alex Gonzalez grounded into a double play that plated Alou and got Chicago within 3-2.

Lefthander Joey Eischen then got pinch hitter Randall Simon on a game-ending chopper to second base.

Seeking his first career shutout, Ohka allowed two runs and six hits in eight-plus innings and snapped a personal seven-game winless skid.

Ohka struck out four and walked none in his longest outing since pitching eight innings in a loss to Philadelphia on July 9.

"(Okha) had an in-demand game and that's what he is capable of," Expos manager Frank Robinson . "He had an outstanding game. He had great location and command except for the last two hitters. We needed the game that Ohka gave us."

Eischen notched his first save, closing out Montreal's 13th victory in 22 games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. The Expos also recorded an average attendance of more than 14,000 in Puerto Rico - well above their usual drawing power at Olympic Stadium.

"It's tough to pitch here because is a small ballpark," Ohka said through an interpreter. "But it is a small field so triples turn into doubles and singles."

Vladimir Guerrero and Brad Wilkerson each drove in a run as Montreal won for only the third time in its last 12 contests.

Mark Prior (15-6) saw his personal seven-game winning streak come to an end after giving up three runs and 10 hits with eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

"I felt I had good stuff but I just didn't pitch well," said Prior, who had not lost since the All-Star break. "Now I have to start from scratch and pitch better than I did today so we can win some ballgames."

The Cubs have dropped two games in a row after a six-game winning streak and remain one game behind the first-place Houston Astros in the National League Central. Houston lost at Milwaukee on Thursday.

Montreal loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with one out in the second inning but was unable to score when Ohka popped out to third base and Wilkerson struck out to end the inning.

The Expos broke the scoreless tie in the fifth as Cabrera doubled with one out and came home on Guerrero's single to right field. They added two more runs in the sixth on run-scoring doubles by Wilkerson and Cabrera.

Henry Mateo led off the sixth inning a single and advanced to second on Ohka's sacrifice. Wilkerson, who had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, punished Prior for hanging a curve and delivered an RBI double to right. One out later, Cabrera picked up his third extra-base hit of the game on a ground-rule double to left-center field that gave Montreal a 3-0 lead.

The game was delayed 49 minutes at the start by rain.


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