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  Sunday, May 14 1:35pm ET
Expos come up with one last comeback

MONTREAL (AP) -- Big hits, big rallies and even a triple play. It just seemed like Sunday's Cubs-Expos' game would come down to the final swing.

"It was ugly, it was exciting, and it turned out to be one of the toughest games I've ever played," Montreal's Jose Vidro said after the Expos came from behind for the fourth time in the game and beat Chicago 16-15.

 Ricky Gutierrez and Henry Rodriguez
The Cubs' Henry Rodriguez, right, was succinct in summing up a wacky game. "That's baseball. You never know what's going to happen."
Henry Rodriguez homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs for Chicago, but the Expos pulled off an early triple play and a ninth-inning rally.

"That's baseball," Rodriguez said. "You never know what's going to happen."

Chicago wasted leads of 1-0, 6-2, 11-9 and 15-13. Montreal blew margins of 2-1, 9-7 and 13-11 before its final rally. The Expos also scored four times in the eighth.

Sammy Sosa had five hits and five RBI for the Cubs. He singled home a run in the ninth and Rodriguez hit a three-run homer with two outs for a 15-13 lead.

"We were excited and thought we had the win," Rodriguez said. "Then they came back. This was a tough game. That's the game of baseball. They played great. We did our best. We came back, they came back, then us, then them. That was really good baseball but they got the win, and there's nothing to do now."

Rondell White hit a tying, two-run homer and Mike Mordecai singled home the game-winner. White also doubled twice.

Eric Young stole five bases, the most by a Cubs player since George Gore swiped seven on June 25, 1881. Six Cubs had stolen four since 1900, most recently Sosa on Sept. 29, 1993.

Young stole second in the first inning. He swiped second and third in both the third and sixth innings.

Lee Stevens, who drove in five runs, Vladimir Guerrero and Andy Tracy also homered for Montreal, which had 16 hits.

"I'm just happy to come out on top," Stevens said. "That's what makes it nice. It's not nice when you don't win them, and it's always nice when you win at the end like that."

Damon Buford homered for the Cubs, who had 21 hits.

"You have to tip your hat to them, they kept coming back," Stevens said. "We just happened to do it in the last inning."

Dustin Hermanson (4-3) got the win despite giving up Rodriguez's go-ahead home run. Rick Aguilera (1-1) took the loss.

"I threw some good pitches and some bad pitches," Aguilera said. "It was a tough game. We really fought back. It was a bad time to have a tough game."

The Expos turned the 10th triple play in their 32-year history in the first inning.

With runners at first and third and the Cubs leading 1-0 on Sosa's RBI single, Stevens fielded Rodriguez's sharply hit grounder and stepped on first base for the first out.

Stevens threw to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who tagged Sosa for the second out. Ricky Gutierrez, who had been on third, was cut down at the plate by Cabrera's throw to catch Chris Widger, completing Montreal's first triple play since Sept. 29, 1993, against Florida.

Guerrero hit a two-run homer, his 11th, for a 2-1 lead in the first. Stevens made a throwing error that helped the Cubs take the lead in the second, but hit a two-run homer that put the Expos ahead 6-4 in the third.

Rodriguez went 4-for-6 with a pair of RBI singles. Sosa was 5-for-6 with an RBI double.

Tracy hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot off Ismael Valdes to cap a five-run fifth that put Montreal ahead 9-7.

"It came in a big inning for us, I thought, and it was nice to get it out ot the way, and nice to put some guys across the plate for us," Tracy said. "I thought it was a pretty big point in the game there, but it turned out to mean nothing."

Making his third start since being activated from the disabled list, Valdes allowed nine runs on seven hits and six walks in just 3 2/3 innings to see his ERA go from 6.52 to 10.80.

Expos starter Hideki Irabu allowed six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings and left to a chorus of boos after allowing a one-out single to Willie Greene in the third.

Game notes
Just 10,621 were on hand for the game despite a Mother's Day promotion that allowed free admission to any mother accompanied by her children. ... Young stole six bases against Los Angeles while playing for Colorado on June 30, 1996. ... The Cubs last hit into a triple play April 16, 1999, at Milwaukee. ... Dave Martinez, acquired from Tampa Bay on Friday, joined the Cubs on Sunday. He did not play. ... Expos reliever Scott Strickland threw on the side without pain prior to the game. Strickland, currently on the 15-day disabled list, was scheduled to fly to Birmingham, Ala., following the game to consult Dr. James Andrews on Monday for a second opinion on the MRI reading which detected a tear in his right shoulder.


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