CHICAGO — A launching pad would have been more appropriate than a ballpark.
In a game featuring three homers and eight runs-batted in by Montreal's Andre Dawson, the Expos outlasted the Chicago Cubs 17-15 Tuesday. Dawson hit a pair of three-run homers during a 12-run fifth inning.
Chicago, which trailed 15-2 at one point, scored three times in the seventh, four in the eighth and five in the ninth and had the tying run at the plate.
"It was unbelievable, simply unbelievable," said Cubs' manager Jim Frey. "The wind wasn't blowing out that hard and people were hitting it in the dark."
Montreal was outhit, 20-17, but had five of the eight homers in the game, giving the Expos 10 in two games and 21 at Wrigley Field. Dawson has six homers in four games and tied a couple of records with his outburst.
"I guess we needed every one of them," said Dawson, who has 21 homers this year. "You just never know in this ballpark."
Dawson hit a two-run homer in the second and added a three-run shot off Ray Fontenot (6-10) in the fifth. Dawson unloaded his second three-run shot off reliever Jon Perlman. He had a single in the seventh to finish 4 for 6.
"I wasn't thinking homer the rest of the times," Dawson said. "We had guys in scoring position and I wanted to drive them in.
Dawson became the first major leaguer to hit two homers in the same inning twice. He did it against Atlanta in 1978.
The six RBI in one inning tied a major league mark while the eight RBI tied a club mark held by Chris Speier in 1982. The 12-runs tied a National League record for most runs in a fifth inning.
Tim Wallach also had a two-run homer in the club-record 12-run fifth. Sal Butera had four RBI and a two-run homer in the eighth.
Winner Bryn Smith (17-5) departed after giving up three runs in six innings. After the Cubs rocked two relievers, Jeff Reardon got the final out for his 36th save.
"I was up in the clubhouse watching the game and someone yelled to me in the ninth to warm up," Reardon said. "The last thing I thought would happen would be I'd get a save."
Frey pulled several starters after trailing, 15-3, at the end of the sixth. But the reserves came through with 12 runs and 14 hits in the final three innings.
"Our shock troops really did the job," Frey said. "I knew in the big inning that I might have let the kid in too long but you keep thinking he'd get the final out."
Jody Davis hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Billy Hatcher, who had three hits and two RBI, hit a solo homer during the three-run seventh. Gary Matthews pinch-hit a three-run homer during the four-run eighth and Ron Cey pinch-hit a two-run single and Leon Durham a two-run double during the five-run ninth.
"I couldn't see the ball the final two innings, man, what a game," Durham said.
For the record, here is the account of the 12-run fifth:
Leading 3-2, Mitch Webster and Vance Law led off with singles and Dawson hit his second homer and first of the inning on a 2-1 pitch to center. One out later, Wallach singled, knocking out Fontenot.
Andres Galarraga greeted Perlman with a single and John Wohlford was intentionally walked to load the bases. Sal Butera followed with a two-run single and went to second on Smith's sacrifice bunt. Webster lined a RBI double, scoring Butera. Law walked and Dawson hit his second homer.