Expos 6, Phillies 3

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—After failing to hold a lead the previous two nights, the Montreal Expos staged a rare late-inning comeback of their own.

Juan Rivera hit a go-ahead RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Expos overcame Jim Thome’s major league-leading 27th homer in a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Tony Batista and Brad Wilkerson homered for Montreal, which was 0-37 when trailing after seven innings dating to Sept. 16, 2003.

“Really?” Montreal manager Frank Robinson said after learning of the stat. “Well, that’s good to get that one off our backs.”

The Phillies scored 31 runs and rallied for wins in the first two games of the series, but the Expos had a big eighth inning against Tim Worrell (2-3).

“We needed a win especially after the beatings we took the last two games,” second baseman Jose Vidro said. “Hopefully, a good comeback win like this will boost the team up.”

Thome’s two-run homer in the fifth off Zach Day was his 15th in June, tying the club record for homers in a month set by Cy Williams in 1923.

Thome also helped the club shatter the franchise record for homers in a single month. The Phillies finished June with 44 home runs, two more than the previous mark set in June 1977.

Trailing 3-2, Vidro hit a one-out single, went to third on Nick Johnson’s single that was played tentatively by center fielder Doug Glanville and scored on Batista’s sacrifice fly. Vidro, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games, went 3-for-5 with three singles and is hitting .439 during his streak.

“Jose really set that inning up with the hit and his baserunning,” Robinson said. “I think Glanville got caught a little bit off-guard and it was a gutty piece of running.”

Phillies manager downplayed Glanville’s effort that didn’t even include a throw to third.

“I think Doug was playing for no double there,” he said.

After an intentional walk to Terrmel Sledge, Rivera singled just in front of a diving Bobby Abreu in right field, scoring Vidro with the go-ahead run. Brian Schneider walked and pinch-hitter Carl Everett drove in two more runs with a single.

“It looks pretty simple when you do things right,” Robinson said. “Rivera came up with the big two-strike hit and Everett put the icing on the cake. It was just like we had drawn it up.”

Montreal rookie Joe Horgan (1-0) got one out, with one pitch, in the seventh to pick up his first major league win. Luis Ayala pitched a scoreless eighth and Chad Cordero threw a perfect ninth for his fifth save in six opportunities.

In the fifth, Abreu drew a leadoff walk from Day and Thome followed with a high-towering drive to the right-field seats, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

Philadelphia starter Paul Abbott went five innings, and gave up five hits— including both Expos homers—and struck out four and walked two.

Batista connected for his 11th homer of the season in the second, and Wilkerson gave the Expos a short-lived 2-1 lead in the fifth with his 15th.

Day labored throughout, walking a career-high seven, and giving up three runs on eight hits over 6 2-3 innings.

“I knew I was in it for the long run after what happened the last two nights,” Day said. “In a ballpark like this one, I might have tried to nibble a little too much.”

Worrell allowed four runs and four hits and walked two in just two-thirds of an inning. The Phillies never got the chance to use closer Billy Wagner for the ninth.

“We had the game right where we wanted it,” Bowa said. “You put people intheir roles and hope things work out. You can’t control it.”


Montreal won for the first time in 10 games at baseball’s newest parks this season. The Expos are 1-5 at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and 0-4 at San Diego’s Petco Park. … During its record-settting month, Philadelphia hit 19 homers on the road and 25 at home. … Day threw 124 pitches, just 66 for strikes. … Vidro batted .388 (40-for-103) in June—the second-highest batting average for a month in his career. He batted .443 (35 for 79) in July2001.

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