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Updated: Thursday, June 3, 2004 12:38 AM EDT
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MONTREAL 8, ATLANTA 4
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Orlando Cabrera and Juan Rivera led a hit parade by the Montreal Expos .

Cabrera and Rivera each had three hits and reached base five times as the Expos had a season-high 17 hits in an 8-4 thumping of the Atlanta Braves .

Tony Batista also had three hits and Einar Diaz added two and three RBI for Montreal, which roughed up Mike Hampton as it easily overcame a season-high 17 left on and avoided a sweep.

Asked if he had ever seen 17 left on base in a game, Expos manager Frank Robinson said, "Yeah, winter ball. Most things we do in double digits is a season high, but that's a high number, really, because the other team is still in the ballgame."

Cabrera came in hitless in his last 17 at-bats but had an RBI double to trigger a three-run third that gave the Expos the lead for good and walked and scored in a three-run fourth.

Rivera singled home Cabrera in the third and plated another run with a force play in the fourth.

"I feel good tonight," Rivera said. "Everybody that played took their time and saw what Hampton was throwing."

The beneficiary was Claudio Vargas (4-3), who gave up four runs, four hits and four walks in six innings, striking out two. He was touched for homers DeWayne Wise and Mike Hessman in his final inning but improved to 3-0 on the road.

"On the road, I pitch better," Vargas said. "I don't know why. I try to pitch good all the time."

Hampton had allowed just three earned runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last three starts. But the lefthander was not sharp, giving up six runs, seven hits, five walks and a wild pitch in three-plus innings.

"I pretty much got my (tail) kicked," Hampton said. "Tonight was pretty ugly. I don't point fingers except at the guy I see in the mirror every day. I definitely didn't have it. I just didn't do a whole lot right."

"Hampton was not sharp," Rivera said. "He's a good pitcher, but he wasn't on."

Montreal rebounded after Tuesday's 7-6 loss in which closer Rocky Biddle allowed a pair of homers in the ninth inning.

"I was very proud of the team that we were able to bounce back and put that horrible game behind us," Robinson said. "Tonight we came out with a little more energy and focus."

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first on Johnny Estrada 's RBI double. They closed to 3-2 in the third when Vargas hit Wise with a pitch with the bases loaded.

Diaz capped both the second and third with RBI singles, then followed Brad Wilkerson 's RBI double in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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