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Expos rally in seventh to edge Royals

6/19/2002

MONTREAL (AP) -- Frank Robinson got a nice surprise before he got
what he really wanted -- another win.

Wil Cordero's pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the seventh
capped a three-run rally as the Montreal Expos won their fifth
straight game, 5-4 over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, Robinson accepted Arizona manager Bob
Brenly's invitation to join the National League's coaching staff
for the All-Star Game in Milwaukee on July 9.

"This was out of the clear blue,'' Robinson said. "It was a
surprise, and a very good surprise, and I'm very honored to be
going. I appreciate him thinking of me. I was excited. The only
thing that was more exciting right now was the win we got tonight
against the Royals.''

Second-place Montreal moved within 4½ games of Atlanta in the NL
East.

Trailing 4-2, the Expos tied it on Orlando Cabrera's two-run
double off Scott Mullen (0-1) with one out in the seventh.

One out later, right-hander Cory Bailey came in to face Cordero,
who delivered a hit-and-run single to right to drive in Cabrera
with the go-ahead run.

"We're playing pretty good baseball right now,'' Cabrera said.
"That's probably a part of him getting invited to the All-Star
game.''

Zach Day (2-0), who pitched three hitless innings of relief to
win his major league debut Saturday, pitched a perfect seventh for
his second win in as many appearances.

"I just go out there and throw strikes, and fortunately things
are going my way right now,'' Day said.

Scott Stewart -- Montreal's seventh pitcher -- allowed one hit as
he struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save in as many
opportunities.

Expos starter Tony Armas Jr. left the game after he was struck
on his right forearm by Mike Sweeney's line drive with two outs in
the first. Armas was taken to the hospital for X-rays, which proved
negative.

"That's what this game is all about,'' Robinson said. "Team
baseball and picking up your teammates. We had to pick up Tony
tonight and the bullpen did that.''

Kansas City's Shawn Sedlacek allowed just two hits in 5 2-3
innings in his major league debut.

"I was impressed,'' Royals manager Tony Pena said. "He was
throwing the ball really well.''

Joe Randa had two doubles and three RBI as the Royals lost
their fifth in a row.

Randa hit a two-run double off reliever Jim Brower in the third
to open the scoring.

Sedlacek, who began the season with Double-A Wichita, allowed
Brian Schneider's homer with one out in the third as he faced one
over the minimum through the first five innings.

"I wasn't keeping track of outs,'' Sedlacek said. "I wanted to
see our team get a win.''

Carlos Beltran and Randa hit RBI doubles off Carl Pavano -- who
was taken out of the starting rotation by Robinson before the game
-- in the fifth to make it 4-1.

Sedlacek made Schneider his fourth strikeout victim to begin the
sixth as he retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced before
issuing a one-out walk to pinch hitter Mike Mordecai.

Mordecai advanced to second on Brad Wilkerson's grounder back to
the mound and scored Montreal's second run as Jose Vidro's two-out
RBI single chased Sedlacek.

"I was pleading my case, but Tony already had his mind made up
before he came out there,'' Sedlacek said.

Game notes
The Royals fired pitching coach Al Nipper before the game
and replaced him with Triple-A Omaha pitching coach John
Cumberland. Cumberland, who was replaced by Nipper as Boston's
pitching coach during the 1995 season, is expected to join the team
Wednesday. ... Royals LHP Jeremy Affeldt was placed on the 15-day
disabled list -- retroactive to June 9 -- because of a blister on his
left middle finger. ... Expos right-hander Masato Yoshii will start
Thursday's series finale. It will be Yoshii's first appearance
since June 11 in Detroit, when he was struck on the right shoulder
and right side of his face by Randall Simon's line drive.