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Updated: Friday, August 27, 2004 11:49 PM EDT
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MONTREAL 10, SAN DIEGO 3
 

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- For the third time this month, Brad Wilkerson led off with a home run and the Montreal Expos never looked back.

Wilkerson drove in three runs and recently recalled Scott Downs pitched seven strong innings to help the Expos snap a four-game losing streak against the San Diego Padres , 10-3.

In the first inning, Wilkerson slugged the fourth pitch from San Diego starter Dennis Tankersley (0-4) over the left field wall. He has a leadoff homer in six games this season and leads Montreal with 25 overall.

"We were looking for him to improve on his 20 home runs and he's certainly doing that right now," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "His RBI total would be a little higher, but he's been hitting at the top of the order an awful lot."

After Tony Batista slugged a two-run homer - his 23rd - in the fifth to increase the Expos' lead to 4-1, Wilkerson added a two-run double to highlight a four-run uprising in the sixth.

"His (Batista's) M.O. is that he's going to give you 30 something homers and close to 100 runs or better and hit for a low average," Robinson said.

"We just continued through out the night to hit the ball hard and Downs came out and threw a good game," Wilkerson said. "You've got to have some guys in there to work for the runs and hit some homers. Fortunately for us, Tony and I are hitting some home runs."

Downs (2-4), who was recalled from Class AAA Edmonton on Thursday, allowed three runs and scattered eight hits. He issued four walks and struck out three, throwing 59 of 105 pitches for strikes.

"That's exactly what we needed," Robinson said. "I'm impressed the way Downs went seven innings. He started throwing in the zone a little more from the fifth on and had very good results."

"The goal all along was to save the bullpen," Downs said. "I was fortunate enough to go seven innings and give some guys a break."

Endy Chavez had three hits, including a two-run single in the sixth, and Maicer Izturis singled in his first major meague at-bat for Montreal.

"It was a beautiful experience because I've been up since four in the morning traveling from Edmonton," Izturis said. "I found myself in the lineup and just tried to be consistant at the plate and have a good at-bat."

T.J. Tucker struck out one in the eighth and Joey Eischen pitched the ninth for Montreal, which improved to 14-10 in August.

Tankersley surrendered six runs - five earned - and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"He was wild, he was erratic, he was behind too much," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said of Tankersley. "He started throwing the ball better in the middle and made a mistake to Batista, but he didn't have his command tonight."

"The point that killed me where I was getting into a groove was the pitch to Batista," Tankersley said. "It was where I wanted it, down, moving in, trying to get him to hit a ground ball. How he hit and kept it fair, I don't know."

Jay Payton drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning and added a solo shot in the seventh for the Padres, who fell to 4-1 on a seven-game road trip.


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