FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) - As the
' final days wind down,
again played a noteworthy role.
Sledge drove in a pair of runs, including one on a double that broke an eighth-inning tie, as the Expos snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the
New York Mets
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday afternoon that the Expos will relocate to Washington for the 2005 season. On Thursday, the Expos played their final game in Canada after 36 years and Sledge earned his place in history by popping up for the final out in a 9-1 loss to Florida.
"It was one time in my career that I could not block out the crowd from my mind when I was at the plate," Sledge said.
The Expos are playing their final three games at Shea Stadium and Sledge made the difference in the series opener, tying the game at 2-2 with an RBI single in the third and putting Montreal ahead in the eighth.
and was replaced by
, who allowed a single to
and the RBI double to left-center field by Sledge.
"This is the last time anyone will be wearing the
uniform. It probably won't really hit us until after Sunday," Sledge said. "I just want to finish the season up strong."
After a walk to
drove in his second run of the game with a single.
Chavez also made a leaping catch against the left-center field wall to rob
of an extra-base hit in the seventh.
(3-0) tossed a scoreless seventh for the win.
pitched the eighth and
worked around a one-out error in the ninth for his 14th save in 18 chances and first since August 20.
The Expos had lost seven of their previous eight games.
"Nobody likes to lose five or six games in a row," Expos manager
said. "You don't want to finish the season with a bad taste in your mouth."
pitched six innings and allowed two runs - both in the first - and five hits.
led off with a double and scored on a single by Kaz Matsui, who went to third on a two-base hit by
followed with an RBI groundout, giving the Mets a 2-0 edge.
New York starter
lasted just five innings in his final start of the season, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out six. Acquired from Pittsburgh on July 30, Benson is a free agent after the season and hopes to re-sign with the Mets.
"I've enjoyed it here," Benson said. "I want to be a piece of the puzzle here next year."
In what is expected to be a prelude for the 2005 season, the Mets started Reyes at shortstop and Kaz Matsui at second base for the first time. Matsui was the regular shortstop this year but is expected to switch to second next season with Reyes returning to his natural position of shortstop.
The game marked the first for the Mets since Omar Minaya stepped down as general manager of the Expos to assume the same role with the Mets on Thursday. Minaya spoke to the Expos players before Friday's game.
"You've just got to turn the page and move on," Minaya said.