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Updated: Sunday, October 3, 2004 5:56 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
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NY METS 8, MONTREAL 1
 

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- A few miles from Broadway, the curtain officially came down on the Montreal Expos .

The Expos lost the final game in franchise history as Todd Zeile staged a goodbye of his own by hitting a three-run homer in his last major league at-bat and leading the New York Mets to an 8-1 victory.

The Expos, who will relocate to Washington, D.C. for the 2005 season, completed their 5,702nd game as Canada's National League entry when Endy Chavez grounded out. They finished in last place in the Eastern Division with a 67-95 record and concluded with an all-time mark of 2,755-2,943-4.

"The name ' Montreal Expos ' will not be used again. It's a rude awakening," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "It's a sad situation because people in Montreal are losing a team. It's a shame it didn't work out."

It ended exactly where it began. Montreal entered the major leagues with an 11-10 victory over the Mets at Shea Stadium on April 8, 1969. Montreal had far less offense in its finale as Tom Glavine (11-14) pitched six strong innings, allowing one run and three hits.

"It's both special and sad at the same time," Montreal first baseman Brad Wilkerson said. "It's a tough way to end it. We appreciate what Montreal has done for us. They gave us a great opportunity."

The game also marked the finale for the well-traveled Zeile, who is retiring after 16 seasons and 11 different teams, including the Expos. Zeile started at catcher, the position where he began his major league career, and went out in style by homering off Claudio Vargas in the sixth to give New York a 7-1 lead.

"I was relaxed at the plate. If ever there was a time, this was it," said Zeile, who was honored in a pregame ceremony. "I would have liked to be playing some October baseball, but I couldn't have been happier from a personal standpoint."

Zeile was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth and received a warm ovation from the crowd of 33,569.

David Wright capped an impressive rookie season by homering and driving in three runs for the Mets, who salvaged the finale of the three-game series and sent manager Art Howe out with a victory. Howe was fired on September 15, but agreed to finish the season. He lasted just two years with the Mets, posting a 137-186 record.

"Not that he needed it, but he gained even more respect from us for the way he handled things the last few weeks," Glavine said. "It says a lot about his character."

New York finished in fourth place in the NL East with a 71-91 record after finishing last the previous two seasons.

Terrmel Sledge drove in the lone Montreal run with a single in the first.

Wright hit a two-run homer on a 3-0 pitch from John Patterson (4-7) over the right field fence to give the Mets a 3-1 lead in the fifth. Wright also had a sacrifice fly in the first.

Jose Reyes stole three bases for the Mets, including second and third base in the fifth before scoring on a single by Kaz Matsui.

Glavine improved to 27-19 against Montreal and defeated the Expos more than any pitcher.

"It just means that I faced them a lot," Glavine said.

Mets reliever John Franco , who is not expected to return in 2005, appeared in his first game since September 4. He pitched to two batters, allowing a single to Sledge before getting Ryan Church on a pop fly.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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