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Sabo Ejected for Using Corked Bat

From Associated Press

Cincinnati Red third baseman Chris Sabo was ejected in the second inning of Monday night’s game against Houston when his bat cracked, leaving several pieces of cork on the field.

Sabo left Riverfront Stadium before the Astros’ 2-1 victory and could not be reached for comment.

“It’s a no-brainer,” umpire crew chief Ed Montague said. “The bat broke and cork flew out.”

Sabo was facing Houston’s Mike Hampton when he cracked his bat. A bat boy brought out three more, Sabo picked one and returned to the plate.

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He fouled off the next pitch, and Hampton thought he heard that bat crack too. But Sabo kept it, and on the next pitch flied out to short left field.

A large chunk of the barrel of the bat flew almost to third base. Home plate umpire Tom Hallion retrieved it and showed it to Montague.

“It’s an automatic ejection,” Montague said. “I told Chris, ‘You’re done,’ and he said, ‘It’s not my bat.’ ”

New York 5, Pittsburgh 0--Newly acquired infielder Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two-run home run in the first inning and Butch Huskey added two solo homers to spark the Mets to the victory at New York.

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Pete Harnisch (6-7) gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He did not permit a runner past second base in his second complete game of the season and first shutout since Sept. 17, 1993.

Chris Peters (0-1) made his second start and took the loss.

San Diego 5, Florida 3--Scott Sanders kept up his hot July run since returning to the rotation, striking out a season-high 11 at Miami and winning his third consecutive start.

Sanders (4-3), who came within one strikeout of his career high, has a 4.05 earned-run average and 28 strikeouts in his last 20 innings. He gave up three earned runs on four hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.

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Ken Caminiti again hurt Florida, driving in a run and scoring another. Caminiti is hitting .365 against the Marlins this season with nine runs batted in.

Kevin Brown (9-9) struck out six and had one wild pitch in six innings. His major league-leading ERA rose from 1.76 to 1.98.

Montreal 4, Colorado 1--Pitcher Rheal Cormier went two for two with a two-run triple as the Expos added to the Rockies’ road woes at Montreal.

Cormier (6-6), a .180 career hitter, singled in the third inning. He then hit his first career triple, highlighting a three-run fourth. He gave up one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

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