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Pavano sets record in victory
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09/30/2004 12:10 AM ET
Pavano sets record in victory
Right-hander wins franchise-high 18th game

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MONTREAL -- After 36 seasons, the curtain came down Wednesday night on Major League Baseball in Montreal.

On the historic night, Carl Pavano became the answer to a trivia question.

Who was the last winning pitcher in a game played in Montreal?

Pavano.

Going on three days' rest, the Marlins' All-Star tossed seven solid innings, and the Marlins pounded out 15 hits in a 9-1 rout of the Expos before a final Olympic Stadium crowd of 31,395.

Along with having the distinction of collecting the final win in Montreal, Pavano (18-8) also set a Marlins record.

Pavano, who was dealt to the Marlins from Montreal in July 2002, is the first Florida pitcher to win 18 games in a season. He had been tied with Kevin Brown (1996) and Alex Fernandez (1997), since beating the Cubs on Sept. 10.

Pavano ended a three-game losing streak and helped guarantee the third winning season in Marlins history. In the 12 seasons of Marlins baseball, the other two winning records (1997 and 2003) resulted in World Series titles.

   Miguel Cabrera  /   RF
Born: 04/18/83
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Another point of note to trivia buffs will be: Who belted the last home run at Olympic Stadium?

Miguel Cabrera.

The Marlins left fielder went deep off Sun-Woo Kim (4-6) in the third inning.

Earlier in the day, the Expos officially announced they will relocate to Washington, D.C., for the 2005 season. With baseball coming to a close in Montreal, the atmosphere was enthusiastic and unnerving at Olympic Stadium.

Play was suspended for 10 minutes in the top of the third inning due to objects being tossed onto the field.

"I've never sat around more in my life," Pavano said. "I was stretching in here, just walking around to keep my body moving, because it seemed like we were so idle. A lot of that had to do with the crowd, and we were up there slugging away."

The emotional finale turned ugly early. Fans booed and cheered loudly during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," drowning out the singer. In the first inning, a golf ball was thrown on the field.

"When they started booing our national anthem, that's when I knew it was going to be a testy night," said Juan Pierre, who had two hits and two RBIs, extending his hitting streak to eight games.

Marlins manager Jack McKeon was livid at the booing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," and considered removing his team from the dugout during the singing of the Canadian anthem.

"Booing the national anthem," McKeon said, "I came close to taking our players off the field when they played the Canadian [anthem]. That was embarrassing. A patriotic citizen like I am, and all the rest of our guys here, I know one thing -- that was an embarrassment. If that is the way they are going to treat American citizens, this will be my last trip to Montreal. I won't come back here again."

Problems picked up in the top of the third inning, when the players were pulled off the field because a second golf ball landed near second base. At the time, the Marlins were ahead, 5-0, and Mike Lowell was on second after slapping a double. Jeff Conine was at the plate when home plate umpire Rick Reed signaled to Expos manager Frank Robinson. Robinson then waved his players into the dugout to a chorus of boos and jeers.

When order was restored, the fans were treated to video tributes of memorable moments in Montreal history.

After the final play, when reliever Rudy Seanez got Terrmel Sledge to pop out to third baseman Mike Mordecai, the Marlins didn't celebrate on the field. They quickly headed to their clubhouse.

Riot patrol guards were standing by if any trouble happened -- it didn't.

   Mike Mordecai  /   2B
Born: 12/13/67
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Mordecai, a former Expo who was acquired in the same trade as Pavano, said when he was fielding the final out, his eyes were looking to see if golf balls would be flying.

"When that ball went up, I saw the ball, but I was looking out of the corner of my eye for golf balls that might be coming," Mordecai said. "I kept looking out of the side to see if anything else would come. We said we were going to get off [the field] quickly because they were already throwing stuff on the field while we were playing. What's going to stop them when the game is over? I think I counted six or seven golf balls on the field tonight. You could see them raining in."

Cabrera connected on his 32nd home run to open the third inning. The blast off Kim to left-center field gave the Marlins a 5-0 lead, and also moved the 21-year-old into a second-place tie on the team's list of homers in a season. In 2003, Lowell also belted 32.

The game also was likely the final start of the season for Pavano. And because he is a free agent, it is unclear if he will return to the Marlins.

"I was told that was my last start," said Pavano, who cherishes being the franchise's top single-season winner. "This is a payoff for a lot of hard work and dedication. I'm basically living a dream. It shows a lot about the team behind me. It's not just me going out there and getting 18 wins. It's guys behind me, the bench and the coaching staff. Personally, I'd like to thank everyone."

Asked about where he will pitch in 2005, Pavano said: "Anything is possible. That's what free agency is about. My doors are open. It's a time for you to test the waters, if you want."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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