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Updated: Sunday, June 20, 2004 1:08 AM EDT
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MONTREAL 17, CHI WHITE SOX 14
 

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Juan Rivera and the Montreal Expos will never get mistaken for Babe Ruth and the 1927 New York Yankees , but at least for one inning they bore a close resemblance.

Rivera smacked two homers as part of a nine-run second inning and the Expos held off a furious rally by the Chicago White Sox before posting a 17-14 victory.

"It felt great," Rivera said through an interpreter. "I was just looking for good pitches I could drive. Apparently the ball was flying out today and I got my pitch and took advantage of it."

The 18-hit, four-homer attack snapped Montreal's seven-game losing streak. The Expos have scored more runs (24) the last two games then they did in their first 14 contests (22).

"Rivera had a tremendous night, I give my offense a lot of credit," Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "They kept scoring runs and we finally got some effective pitching at the end of the ballgame. Maybe that's the type game we need to turn it around. Nothing else has, maybe that will."

The game was tied 1-1 in the second when Rivera launched a two-run homer off Chicago starter Arnie Munoz , who was making his first major league start. The right fielder came up later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs and drilled a grand slam to give Montreal a 10-1 lead.

It was Rivera's first career grand slam and he established a career high with six RBI.

Munoz (0-1) gave up 11 runs and 10 hits in three innings. The fifth spot in the White Sox ' rotation is 0-7 in nine starts this season, yielding 47 earned runs in 35 1/3 innings.

Munoz did not last long with the big club.

"I just told Arnie we are sending him back to AAA," Chicago general manager Ken Williams said. "We are not sending him back because of what happened out there, but we have a problem with innings. Should something happen early in the game tomorrow, we'd really be stuck."

Tony Armas , Jr. started for the Expos and was unable to earn the victory. The righthander allowed five runs in the fourth inning, including a three-run homer to Juan Uribe that cut the lead to 10-6. Uribe was 3-for-6 with a career-high seven RBI.

The White Sox scored four in the seventh and one in the eighth to edge within 15-14, but reliever Chad Cordero struck out Timo Perez and Uribe with the tying run on second to preserve the lead.

"The positve thing is that we came back," White Sox manager Ozzie Gullien said. "We had a chance to win it ... it was a good comeback. It was fun, most teams roll over."

In the ninth, Terrmel Sledge hit a two-run homer off Neal Cotts to give Cordero some breathing room.

"Luckily, Sledge gave me a cushion," Cordero said. "It's a huge win for us. These types of games give us a lot of confidence."

Jeremy Fikac (1-2) got two outs in the seventh to notch the victory and Cordero retired the White Sox in order for just the second time all game in the ninth for his second save.

"(Brad) Wilkerson passed me in the tunnel and he's like, 'what is this a College World Series game?' and I told him to put the aluminum bats away," Sledge said. "This is a good hitting team, we knew it wasn't over at 10-1."


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