As memories of their 1964 collapse were coming back, the Philadelphia Phillies got a victory they needed against the Montreal Expos.
Tommy Greene scattered five hits in seven-plus innings and John Kruk drove in two runs as the Phillies held off Montreal, 5-4, Saturday night and increased their National League East lead to five games over the Expos.
“We take it one game at a time and it’s worked or we wouldn’t be here today,” Greene said. “All we can do is give 100% and if it doesn’t work out, then fine, we’ll try again the next day.”
The Phillies, who had lost eight consecutive one-run games, won for only the ninth time in 25 games, while Montreal lost for only the fourth time in 25 games. The Expos, whose 11-game home winning streak was stopped, trailed Philadelphia by 14 1/2 games on Aug. 21.
The Phillies keep being reminded of 1964, when they blew a 6 1/2-game lead with 12 games to go.
“There isn’t anything in the world that’s going to stop that until we win it,” Phillie reliever Mitch Williams said.
Greene (15-3) retired 15 consecutive batters from the third until the eighth, when Wil Cordero chased him with a three-run homer. Cordero’s ninth home run came after Sean Berry and John Vander Wal opened the inning with consecutive singles. David West relieved after the homer and retired the side in order. Williams pitched the ninth for his 39th save in 45 chances.