<
>

Giambi pounds first NL homer, but Phillies fall

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Vidro and the Montreal Expos just wouldn't
give up.

Vidro hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning as
Montreal overcame two late deficits for a 13-9 win over the
Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.

"It wasn't pretty, but we won it,'' Expos manager Frank
Robinson said. "I don't know what it is about this ballclub, when
their backs are against the wall, they respond.''

Phillies newcomer Jeremy Giambi homered in his first two NL
at-bats, but Philadelphia blew a three-run lead in the eighth and a
one-run lead in the ninth to fall to a major league-worst 4-20 on
the road.

Closer Jose Mesa had his third blown save in the ninth.

"It's just unbelievable how much can happen to one team in one
stretch,'' Phillies reliever Ricky Bottalico said.

Vidro, who earlier extended his hitting streak to a major
league-high 19 games, homered on the first pitch he saw from
left-hander Hector Mercado (1-1) with none out in the 10th,
delighting the Olympic Stadium crowd of 8,370.

It was Montreal's first game-winning homer since Vladimir
Guerrero connected against Philadelphia's Rheal Cormier last July
18.

"I knew it was gone,'' Vidro said. "I'm just happy the ball
was out and we won the game.''

T.J. Tucker (3-0) won despite allowing Tomas Perez's RBI single
in the ninth.

Mercado walked Brad Wilkerson and Wil Cordero in the 10th, and
Tucker reached on a bunt single to load the bases before Vidro
drove the next pitch over the left-field wall for his second career
grand slam.

"Mercado threw a slider -- I saw it right away,'' Vidro said.
"As soon as he threw it, I saw it spinning and I put a nice swing
on it and it went for a homer. I don't know what else to say -- I'm
too happy now.''

Vidro moved past Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko
and Boston's Johnny Damon for the longest hitting streak in the
majors this season.

Making his first appearance with Philadelphia since he was
acquired from Oakland on Wednesday, Giambi hit a two-run shot in
the second and a solo homer in the fourth off Expos starter Carl
Pavano.

Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer -- his 13th -- in the fifth, and
Travis Lee added an RBI double in the eighth to put the Phillies up
8-5.

The Expos caught a break to start their eighth-inning rally when
Troy O'Leary's popup fell untouched behind second baseman Marlon
Anderson for a double after he was called off by center fielder
Jason Michaels.

Orlando Cabrera hit an RBI single to draw Montreal within two.
Bottalico got two outs before walking Wilkerson, but pinch-hitter
Wil Cordero's grounder caromed into the outfield off third baseman
Scott Rolen's glove for an RBI double, and Wilkerson came home with
the tying run when Burrell dropped the ball in left field for an
error.

"You've got to get 27 outs,'' said Phillies bench coach Gary
Varsho, who is managing during this three-game series while Larry
Bowa serves a suspension. "The popup that fell in opened up a can
of worms for us, and they capitalized on it.''

Perez's RBI single in the ninth put Philadelphia back ahead 9-8,
but Montreal tied it with three straight hits, including Vidro's
leadoff infield single and O'Leary's broken-bat RBI single off
Mesa.

"I don't know what was more important, the single in the ninth
or the grand slam,'' Vidro said. "We were able to come back in the
ninth against a big pitcher like Mesa. We battled in the ninth
against a tough pitcher.''

Philadelphia starter David Coggin left with the Phillies
trailing 5-2 after three innings.

After Giambi's first NL homer put Philadelphia up 2-0 in the
second, Montreal came back with four in the bottom half on
Wilkerson's two-run double and RBI singles by Pavano and Jose
Macias.

The Expos took advantage of Coggin's two wild pitches in the
third as Cabrera scored Montreal's fifth run to increase the lead
to three.

Giambi homered for the second straight at-bat leading off the
fourth to make it 5-3.

Pavano, who has one win in his last six starts, allowed five
runs -- four earned -- and five hits in three-plus innings.

Game notes
Giambi had eight homers in 157 at-bats with Oakland this
season. ... Bowa watched his team from a booth in the Olympic
Stadium press box for the second straight night. ... Vidro hit his
other grand slam on Aug. 9, 1999, against San Diego. ... Wilkerson
made his first major league start at first base using slumping
first baseman Lee Stevens' glove. Stevens, who is hitting .201 this
season, is 7-for-67 (.104) since May 1. ... The Expos activated 1B
Andres Galarraga from the 15-day disabled list after the game and
optioned outfielder Endy Chavez to Triple-A Ottawa.