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GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE Hernandez stops Tribe, 5-2



Published: Mon, March 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Pirates lost 8-7 to Houston despite hitting five home runs.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

VIERA, Fla. -- Orlando Hernandez allowed two hits in four shutout innings Thursday as the Montreal Expos beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2.

El Duque, making his second spring start for the Expos, had an overpowering curveball. He struck out three and walked none.

After taking a line drive off a leg during a play that ended the top of the third inning, Hernandez batted in the bottom half and reached on an error. He then stole second.

After breezing through three innings, loser Ricardo Rodriguez allowed five runs in the fourth. After three consecutive walks, Orlando Cabrera hit an RBI single, and Scott Hodge and Peter Bergeron followed with two-run doubles.

Bergeron, vying for a starting spot, came in hitless in 18 at-bats this spring and went 2-for-4.

Vladimir Guerrero was 1-for-1 with two walks, scoring one run. Wendell Magee had a pinch homer in the eighth for the Indians.

Astros 8, Pirates 7

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Shane Reynolds gave up five homers and nearly touched off a fight by brushing back Brian Giles, but Houston rallied behind Henri Stanley's two-run double in the eighth.

In the latest of a series of flareups across the majors this spring, Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon yelled at Gregg Zaun in the fifth after the Houston catcher stared angrily at reliever Duane Sanchez for hitting him with a pitch.

Zaun, who doubled and homered in his first two at-bats, looked as if he might charge the mound, but instead glared at Sanchez before throwing bat hard toward his own dugout.

That led Reynolds to throw behind Giles in the bottom of the inning, causing plate umpire Tim Welke to warn both dugouts. McClendon and Astros manager Jimy Williams both confronted Welke to complain, but the benches didn't empty and the game was finished without incident.

Neither starting pitcher had much success on a day a steady breeze blew several balls out of McKechnie Field, with Rob Mackowiak hitting two homers and Giles, Jack Wilson and Matt Stairs also homering for the Pirates.

Pirates starter Kip Wells gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings, with Zaun and Morgan Ensberg homering in succession in the fourth. Stanley's decisive double in the eighth came off Matt Herges and was his third game-winning double this spring.




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