Robinson takes blame as Phils jolt Expos
MONTREAL -- A tear rolled down Frank Robinson's right cheek as he tried to explain how his Montreal Expos blew it.
Robinson, for years one of baseball's tough guys, settled on one answer: Blame him.
Ricky Ledee, Pat Burrell and Scott Rolen homered to highlight an eight-run rally in the ninth inning as the Philadelphia Phillies startled the Expos 11-8 Monday night.
Though Expos relievers Jim Brower, Scott Stewart and Matt Herges were tagged, Robinson said it was his fault.
''I just didn't do my job in the ninth inning,'' the Expos manager said. I'd change a lot of things. I'd change the score, number one, but it's just -- I'll take this one, not the players.''
''I'm not second-guessing myself on anything, I'm just taking this one on the shoulders -- that was mine,'' he said. ''Let's not beat the bullpen on this one, gentlemen. If you're going to take shots at anybody, take them right here. The bullpen, it wasn't their fault. It's my fault tonight.''
Robinson did not explain how he messed up. But he used Brower for 3 1-3 innings before he was tagged by Ledee's three-run homer, and the shaky Herges gave up Burrell's three-run shot and Rolen's two-run drive.
The Phillies trailed 8-3 before staging their biggest ninth-inning comeback since scoring seven times to beat Pittsburgh 8-7 on June 16, 1998.
''We're not a big power hitting team, but you wouldn't know it by anything tonight,'' Burrell said.
The Expos wasted their biggest ninth-inning lead since Sept. 13, 1997, when they gave up six runs to the Mets and eventually lost 9-6 in 11 innings.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 3
David Bell hit a three-run homer and San Francisco beat Arizona for its sixth victory in seven games.
J.T. Snow homered at Pacific Bell Park for the first time since May 2001. The Giants moved within 1 1/2 games of NL West-leading Los Angeles and left the Diamondbacks a half-game out in second place.
Rookie Ryan Jensen won his fourth straight start.
Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2
Jim Edmonds homered and threw out a runner at home plate as St. Louis won at Dodger Stadium in a meeting of division leaders. Los Angeles has lost five of six.
Rookie Travis Smith improved to 3-0. He made his third start since being called up from the minors following Darryl Kile's death.
Smith beat Los Angeles for the second time in 12 days. The Cardinals defeated Omar Daal for the second time in nine days.
Pirates 5, Astros 4
Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out, two-run homer off Billy Wagner in the ninth inning to rally Pittsburgh at Houston.
The Pirates overcame an early 4-0 deficit. Jack Wilson singled with one out in the ninth and Ramirez later connected for his seventh homer of the season.
Geoff Blum homered, doubled and singled for the Astros.
Cubs 3, Braves 2
Todd Hundley and Alex Gonzalez hit consecutive home runs and Mark Bellhorn also connected to send Chicago over Atlanta.
A crowd of 40,206, the largest of the season at Wrigley Field, saw the Cubs improve to 5-1 under interim manager Bruce Kimm.
On '70s night, Sammy Sosa wore an Afro wig, sunglasses and a heavy chain before meeting Tony Orlando and then taking batting practice.
In the first inning, plate umpire Joe West made Sosa change bats, saying the Cubs slugger was using a cracked one. In the ninth, Kimm mistakenly sent Darren Lewis -- who had pinch-run in the eighth-- to right field and had to pull Sosa.
Mets 8, Marlins 3
Mike Bacsik became the first Mets rookie to pitch a complete game since 1998 and Mo Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz homered at Shea Stadium.
Bacsik is only the fourth Mets pitcher in the last quarter-century to win his first two career starts. The son of a former major league pitcher by the same name, Bacsik beat Florida for the second time in two weeks.
Kevin Millar homered twice for the Marlins, who lost their season-high fifth in a row.
Bacsik gave up seven hits, struck out seven and also had a suicide-squeeze bunt. The last Mets rookie to throw a complete game was Masato Yoshii on May 21, 1998.
Rockies 5, Padres 0
Rookie Denny Stark, replacing struggling Denny Neagle in the Colorado rotation, pitched one-hit ball for six innings at San Diego.
Making his first start since June 3, Stark did not allow a hit until Ramon Vazquez doubled with one out in the sixth.
Rookie Oliver Perez, who struck out 13 at Colorado on July 7, fanned nine in 6 1-3 innings. The Associated Press