Final in 11

Series: Game 2 of 3

Minnesota leads 2-0 (as of 6/16)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 15
Minnesota8Final
Montreal2
Game 2: Wednesday, June 16
Minnesota5Final
in 11
Montreal4
Game 3: Thursday, June 17
Minnesota6Final
Montreal4

Twins 5

(36-28, 15-14 away)

Expos 4

(20-43, 9-19 home)

7:05 PM ET, June 16, 2004

Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec 

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MIN 10000001201 5 9 1
MON 00000400000 4 8 1

W: J. Rincon (8-3)

L: J. Fikac (0-2)

S: J. Nathan (17)

Rivas' shot gets Robinson tossed

MONTREAL (AP) -- Frank Robinson and the Montreal Expos had a legitimate complaint over a crucial blown call.

Luis Rivas hit a disputed home run in the 11th inning, sending the Minnesota Twins to a 5-4 win over Montreal on Wednesday night.

Rivas' drive over the wall in the left-field corner was called fair by third base umpire Brian O'Nora. Television replays, however, clearly showed the ball sailed to the left of the net that serves as a foul pole at Olympic Stadium and should have been ruled foul.

"The replay just confirmed what you saw, that's all," said Robinson, the Expos' manager who was ejected after a lengthy argument. "In plain language, (O'Nora) said he saw it and he saw the ball hit the foul pole. He saw it shaking."

Expos left fielder Brad Wilkerson immediately jumped up and down when he saw O'Nora signal a fair ball. Wilkerson ran in to join third baseman Tony Batista and Robinson, who came out of the dugout to argue.

"I was close enough to see it, I don't need to see a replay," Wilkerson said. "I saw it hit the (back) wall and bounce back. I looked down and he signaled fair ball and I was just caught by surprise so I was just trying to get in there and give any help I could to try to get the call right, and it didn't work."

O'Nora was joined by umpires Phil Cuzzi, Mike Fichter and Brian Knight, who conferred but let the decision stand.

"I saw the umpire signal home run and that's all I really (care) about, to tell you the truth," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I didn't see it. I haven't looked at a replay. I'm not really worried about it -- it's one point for us."

Robinson repeatedly berated the entire crew, continuing after he returned to the dugout before he was ejected by crew chief Fichter, the first base umpire.

Robinson came back out of the dugout to renew his dispute with Fichter. The manager made a series of choking gestures before he was ejected, bowing toward O'Nora to the applause of the tiny crowd of 3,763.

"What can you do about it?" Robinson said. "Four guys out there all saying that they saw it the same way -- you've got to be kidding me! Didn't any of them see it the right way? That's the key. I don't care how they saw it, all four may have seen it one way, but it wasn't right."

Expos fans gave a mock cheer after every foul ball the rest of the innings. Three fans were swarmed by security guards after the game when they banged on the door to the umpire's room.

The umpires were not available for comment.

"I didn't even see the ball," Rivas said. "When I got to first base I thought they would call it foul and when I saw the umpire, he called it fair."

Juan Rincon (8-3) allowed one hit in two innings for the win. Joe Nathan pitched the 11th for his 17th save in 18 opportunities.

Jeremy Fikac (0-2) allowed Rivas' homer to begin the 11th after pitching a perfect 10th. The Expos dropped their fifth straight.

Chad Cordero allowed two runs in the ninth, blowing his first save opportunity since replacing Rocky Biddle as Montreal's closer.

After drawing to 4-2 in the eighth on Cristian Guzman's triple and Doug Mientkiewicz's sacrifice fly, Jacque Jones hit a one-out homer off Cordero to make it 4-3.

Cordero walked Joe Mauer, and Michael Cuddyer doubled to put runners at second and third. After pinch-hitter Matthew LeCroy walked on four pitches to load the bases, Guzman hit a soft grounder to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, whose only play was to throw out Guzman at first while Rivas scored the tying run.

Nick Johnson's two-run homer capped a four-run sixth inning for the Expos. Johnson hit his second homer of the season off Kyle Lohse.

The Expos held a players-only meeting before the game after being held to three runs in the four previous games, which included two shutouts.

Doug Mientkiewicz hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to draw the Twins within two.

Corey Koskie hit an RBI single in the first for Minnesota as three of the first four batters singled off Sun-woo Kim, who made his first start in nearly a month.

Originally scheduled to start Thursday, Kim's return to the rotation was moved up a day as Robinson decided to give Livan Hernandez an extra day's rest. Kim, who struck out five, allowed three hits and one run in five innings.

Lohse allowed six hits and four runs in six innings.

Game notes


Rivas, who entered as a pinch-runner in the ninth, was taken out of the lineup just before the game because of an infected left ring finger. ... It was Montreal's second-smallest crowd of the season. The Expos drew 3,609 on May 5 for a 2-0 loss to Colorado. ... Montreal is 0-5 in extra-inning games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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