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Updated: Saturday, July 17, 2004 12:14 AM EDT
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MONTREAL 5, ATLANTA 1
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Montreal Expos finally found a way to score some runs against the Atlanta Braves .

Tony Batista drove two runs and Jose Vidro went 3-for-3, including his 11th homer of the season, to lead the Expos to a 5-1 victory over the Braves.

Vidro and first baseman Nick Johnson , who also had two hits, both scored a pair of runs for Montreal, which had totaled just six runs in four straight losses to Atlanta.

The Expos snapped a 14-inning scoreless streak against the Braves in the fourth, opening a 2-0 lead. Johnson and Vidro opened the inning with consecutive singles and Batista plated Johnson with a base hit. Vidro scored on a groundout by Orlando Cabrera .

Expos starter John Patterson , who was on the mound for the first time since April 27, could not get out of the fifth inning.

Claudio Vargas relieved Patterson, who was limited to 87 pitches, and gave up an RBI single to J.D. Drew and walked Chipper Jones before retiring Johnny Estrada with the bases loaded to end the fifth.

Patterson pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run and two hits. He struck out five and walked four.

"He gave us all he had," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "I probably gave him one or two more batters than I should have. I wanted him to be eligible for the win, but I didn't want to jeopardize the game. He had hit the wall."

"I did just enough to get by," Patterson said. "After that loss last night, you want to come in and pick the team up. Any win is a positive thing."

Vidro answered for the Expos in the bottom of the sixth by crushing a Paul Byrd (2-2) curveball 409 feet into the right field stands.

"Vidro was the difference in the game," said Byrd, who surrendered three runs and five hits in six innings. "You have to give him credit. I made good pitches and he fouled them off. I made a bad pitch and he deposited it 20 rows into the seats."

"Once they got that run back, to hit that home run right after they scored the run, it was the turn around right there," Vidro said. "It feels good to help the team win."

Vargas got into immediate trouble in the sixth, leaving with the bases loaded and one out, but Joe Horgan (2-0) came on and induced the speedy Rafael Furcal to ground into a double play.

"Getting that double play, that was nice," said Horgan, who retired all eight batters he faced. The win was just the seventh for the Expos' bullpen - the lowest total in the major leagues. "It feels good to come through."

The Expos added two runs in the eighth on an RBI double by Johnson and a sacrifice fly by Batista.

The Braves lost for only the third time in the month of July and fell one-game behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East Division.


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