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Expos pack them in for home finale

It was the kind of crowd the Expos used to draw at Olympic Stadium: 30,000 strong, loud and lively.

They did it for the first time in years on the night they played their last game in Montreal.

Some fans stood with tears in their eyes, and others waved flags and signs during the final inning of Montreal's 9-1 loss to Florida on Wednesday. When it was over, the Expos poured onto the field to wave goodbye.

It made for a touching scene, even a wrenching one. But the show of support came too late to save a franchise that had alienated its fan base.

"Now it can't be undone," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "That reaction makes it tougher to move on. It's like you want to stand still right now and not rush out of here, savor every moment you can be here."

The end almost came more abruptly than expected. There was a 10-minute delay in the third inning when players were pulled off the field after a fan threw a golf ball that landed near second base, and the crowd was warned the game could be forfeited if there were more problems.