Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bench-Clearing Brawl Mars Expos' Victory over Astros

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bench-Clearing Brawl Mars Expos' Victory over Astros

Article excerpt

Darrin Fletcher and Henry Rodriguez each hit two-run homers before an ugly bench-clearing brawl, and Mark Leiter pitched a three-hitter Monday night as the Montreal Expos beat the Houston Astros 8-1 in Montreal.

The teams scuffled in the third inning after Houston starter Danny Darwin hit Rodriguez with a pitch. Five players were ejected along with Houston manager Terry Collins, whose lip was cut by a thrown helmet.

Leiter (6-10) allowed Brian Hunter's leadoff homer in the first - his major league-leading 31st home run surrendered - but held the Astros to just two more hits the rest of the way. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter in his second complete game of the season.

Fletcher hit a two-run homer off Darwin (9-10) to highlight a four-run third inning that turned nasty when the teams brawled for nearly 10 minutes.

Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the second inning, his 30th, to become the fifth player in Expos history to hit 30 in a season, and the first since Andre Dawson hit a team record 32 in 1983.

Moises Alou hit a two-run double in the third and Fletcher - five for seven lifetime against Darwin - hit a two-run shot, giving the Expos a 6-1 lead.

The next hitter, Rodriguez, got hit on the left hip by a 2-0 pitch from Darwin and charged the mound, igniting the melee which led to a 20-minute delay.

Collins, whose lip appeared to be bloodied by a helmet thrown by an Expos player, was ejected along with Darwin, the Astros' Derrick May, Rodriguez, Alou and Montreal's Jeff Juden after the brawl.

The incident escalated when Expos pitcher Ugueth Urbina got into it with May near first base.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Dodgers 6, Reds 5: NL batting leader Mike Piazza homered for the second successive game and doubled in another run, and Ramon Martinez got the 100th career victory as Los Angeles held off Cincinnati for the Dodgers third win in a row, all at Cincinnati.

The Reds rallied for three runs in the ninth inning, but Kevin Mitchell grounded out with runners on first and third to end the game.

Cubs 11, Mets 1: Ryne Sandberg hit his 20th home run and Jaime Navarro beat the Mets for the third time this season, allowing five hits in eight innings as Chicago won in New York. …

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