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Updated: Friday, August 27, 2004 1:29 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
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LOS ANGELES 10, MONTREAL 3
 

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Los Angeles' Jeff Weaver has been a model of consistency since mid-May. In the sixth inning Thursday, Montreal's Livan Hernandez could not have been more erratic.

Back-to-back bases-loaded walks and a two-run single by Weaver highlighted a seven-run inning as the Dodgers posted a 10-3 triumph over the Expos and earned a split of their four-game series.

Weaver (12-10) allowed three runs in six innings en route to his fifth straight victory. The lanky righthander has won seven of his last nine decisions and has allowed three earned runs or less in 14 straight outings.

" Jeff Weaver has been a model of consistency for us all year long," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "Early in the year, his numbers were nowhere near indicative of the way he'd been pitching. ... You get him the lead and he knows what to do with it."

After Elmer Dessens and Yhency Brazoban combined to get through the seventh, Masao Kida and Eric Gagne tossed an inning apiece. It may prove to be Gagne's last appearance in his native Canada.

"It was great, it was like being at home," Gagne said. "It was good for us and for the fans. It might be the last chance and I wanted to give a good show out there. It is a big family here and they are proud of their athletes."

Hernandez (9-12) fell apart in the sixth, losing the plate while facing the bottom of the Dodgers' lineup and was tagged for a season-high eight runs. The veteran righthander surrendered seven hits and five walks.

Adrian Beltre continued his torrid hitting with his major league-leading 41st homer for Los Angeles, which also got a two-run shot from Steve Finley .

"I don't know, but he felt he got squeezed," Expos manager Frank Robinson said. "But when you get squeezed, you just have to make adjustments to the strike zone."

Hernandez did homer for Montreal, which lost for just the sixth time in its last 22 home games.

Beltre opened the scoring with a leadoff homer in the second, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He has nine homers and 16 RBI during the streak and 26 blasts in his last 59 games.

"The last couple of weeks, I've been swinging the bat good," Beltre said. "I want to be swinging the bat like that the whole year. That is what I'm supposed to do. This is the most consistent I have been the whole year."

Montreal got even in the fourth, but a two-run single by Finley in the fifth put Los Angeles on top, 3-1. Hernandez's two-run homer, his first of the season, knotted the contest, but there may have been some lingering effects in the sixth.

Milton Bradley opened the inning with a walk and took third one out later on a base hit by Shawn Green . Hee Seop Choi walked and Hernandez continued to battle his control, walking Alex Cora and Brent Mayne to force home runs.

Luis Ayala came on in relief and allowed a two-run single by Weaver that pushed the lead to 7-3. Cesar Izturis plated a run with a groundout and Finley made it a seven-run bulge with his 27th homer of the season.

Finley has 20 RBI in 23 games since being acquired from Arizona on July 31.

Montreal lost shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a wrist injury, the latest setback for a team decimated by injuries this season.

"It is a never-ending thing here," Robinson said. "We just wonder who it is going to be next. There is not much we can do about it.

"It is too early to tell (how long he will be out). It certainly did not hit him in a good spot."


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