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Expos Run for Cover, Then Win a Runaway

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From Associated Press

An angry crowd reaction to a ruling reversal by the umpire crew briefly halted the Florida Marlins’ home opener. There was no stopping Michael Barrett and the Montreal Expos.

The crew’s reversal negated a three-run homer by Florida’s Mike Lowell, and Barrett’s homer and career-high five runs batted in helped Montreal win, 10-2, Monday night at Miami.

Play was halted for seven minutes in the fourth inning when fans upset about the reversal threw magnetic schedules--promotional handouts--and other items onto the field.

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“I thought the game was going to be ended due to a riot,” Barrett said.

Lowell’s apparent homer to left temporarily made the score 3-3. When third base umpire Chuck Meriwether called the ball fair, Montreal Manager Frank Robinson and left fielder Brad Wilkerson argued. Meriwether then consulted with the other umpires and was overruled by second base umpire Tim McClelland, the crew chief.

“I saw the ball foul,” McClelland said. “In order for me to overrule it, I have to be 100% certain.”

A TV replay showed the ball hooked foul, passing outside the foul pole as it barely cleared the wall.

Marlin Manager Jeff Torborg sprinted onto the field to argue and was ejected.

Said Torborg: “I was just complaining that the guy closest to the play was overruled.”

When Torborg departed, fans showered the field with objects, and the umpires ordered players off the field.

When the game resumed, Lowell grounded into an inning-ending double play and the crowd booed again.

San Diego 8, Arizona 0--Phil Nevin and D’Angelo Jimenez each hit two-run homers for the Padres at San Diego. Arizona committed five errors, tying the club record set against Houston on June 27, 2000.

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Brian Lawrence (1-0) pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout and second complete game. He retired 13 in a row during one stretch, struck out four, walked one and allowed only one runner to reach third base.

Atlanta 2, Philadelphia 1--Kevin Millwood struck out eight and pitched into the eighth inning and John Smoltz pitched out of trouble in the ninth to lead the Braves at Philadelphia.

Marlon Anderson started the ninth with a double to right-center off Smoltz and moved to third on Bobby Abreu’s infield single. But Smoltz got Scott Rolen to pop out to second before fanning Travis Lee and Pat Burrell for his first save.

Pittsburgh 1, Cincinnati 0--Ron Villone gave up four hits in 71/3 innings and Brian Giles--who had doubled--scored on Aramis Ramirez’s sacrifice fly in the sixth to help the Pirates win their fifth in a row and first home opener since 1993.

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