<
>

Late offensive flurry boosts Montreal

8/27/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Wil Cordero and the Montreal Expos improved
their wild-card hopes with an improbable victory.

Cordero hit a pair of two-run doubles as Montreal rallied from
an eight-run deficit and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 14-10
Tuesday night.

"He's done a terrific job the last two weeks or so coming up
with big, big, big hits," Expos manager Frank Robinson said.

Montreal fell behind 8-0 after five innings, and were trailing
10-4 before scoring seven runs in the seventh, highlighted by
Cordero and Jose Vidro's two-run doubles.

"How exciting was that game?" Vidro said. "We came back --
unbelievable, one of the most exciting games I've played since I've
been in the big leagues."

The Expos won their third straight and moved within two games of
Philadelphia and Florida for the NL wild card.

"It's unreal. You see it happening but you don't believe it,"
Robinson said. "That was a great win for this ballclub, this
organization, and for the fans and for this city. It's just a great
win and it's what we really need to do."

Ricky Ledee had his first two-homer game and drove in four runs,
and Mike Lieberthal had three hits and two RBI for the Phillies,
who have lost four straight and are 1-7 on a season-high 13-game
road trip.

"It's devastating, there's no question about it, but it's not
like there's two games left," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
"We just didn't get the job done tonight. There's no excuses."

Todd Zeile and Brian Schneider singled off Terry Adams to begin
the seventh. Zeile advanced to third on Endy Chavez's forceout,
then scored on a wild pitch.

Pinch-hitter Jose Macias singled and Brad Wilkerson hit an RBI
single off Dan Plesac to make it 10-6.

Williams struck out Orlando Cabrera for the second out before
Jose Vidro hit a drive just to the right of the foul line on the
left-field wall to draw the Expos to within 10-8.

Williams pitched around Vladimir Guerrero before walking him
intentionally and Cordero followed with his double to right-center
to the delight of the crowd of 12,509.

Zeile, batting for the second time in the inning, hit a grounder
off Williams' glove, which caromed toward second baseman Chase
Utley. Utley made a diving attempt at the ball which glanced off
his glove into right field, allowing Cordero to score and make it
11-10.

"The guys were energetic even when we were down 8-0, and then
again 10-3," Zeile said. "This team always felt like we had a
chance to win and I think that's why the result is what it is."

Guerrero walked with the bases loaded and Cordero hit a two-run
double in the eighth to make it 14-10.

"They just kept getting clean hits, getting guys on base,"
Ledee said. "It wasn't like we made errors. You have to be in
disbelief. You look at the score, and they score another one,
another one, another one -- all of a sudden, they're on top."

With runners on first and third in the eighth, Guerrero jumped
at the right-field wall for an inning-ending catch on Utley's drive
off Luis Ayala.

"I thought it was gone," Vidro said. "When he hit it, it was
like, 'Oh my God, no way!' But Vlady made a hell of a play and that
was it right there."

Joey Eischen (2-2) struck out two in the seventh for the win and
Ayala pitched two innings for his fourth save.

Williams (1-6) retired two of the six batters he faced in the
seventh, allowing three hits and three runs. He fell to 0-3 in 18
games with Philadelphia since he was acquired from Pittsburgh on
July 20.

Philadelphia starter Vicente Padilla pitched six effective
innings, leaving shortly after he was struck on the top of his
right shoulder by a liner by Guerrero in the sixth.

Ledee hit a leadoff homer off Zach Day to begin the game and
added a three-run shot in the fourth to chase the Montreal starter.

Day, who allowed three straight hits and a walk to begin the
game, gave up six hits and six runs in 3 2-3 innings.

Jimmy Rollins doubled after each of Ledee's homers, scoring
Philadelphia's second run in the first on Bobby Abreu's RBI single.

Left-hander Eric Knott allowed consecutive doubles to Rollins
and Abreu, whose second RBI of the game increased the lead to 7-0.

Lieberthal's eighth homer leading off the fifth made it 8-0.

After Vidro's sacrifice fly in the bottom half, Padilla was
struck on the top of his right shoulder by Guerrero's liner back to
the mound in the sixth. The ball caromed to second baseman Utley,
who caught it for the second out.

Padilla left after striking out Cordero to end the inning.

Game notes
It was the second time Ledee has led off a game with a
homer this season, and the fourth time in his career. ... The Expos
have won seven straight at Olympic Stadium, and 12 of 13. ...
Montreal overcame a nine-run deficit on May 16, 1997. Trailing San
Francisco 11-2, the Expos had the biggest comeback in their history
for a 14-13 win.