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EXPOS CONTINUE MASTERY OF ATLANTA WITH 11-2 WIN

Perhaps it's as simple as having confidence.

"Once you've played well in a certain city, the confidence is there," Montreal's Marquis Grissom said Thursday after the Expos continued their mastery of the Atlanta Braves 11-2.It was Montreal's fifth victory in six games in Atlanta. The Expos completed the season series with an 8-4 edge on the Braves.

"That's just baseball," said Grissom, who had two doubles, scored twice and drove in two runs as both teams lost an off-day to make up a rainout exactly one week earlier.

"There's some teams that play us real tough, like Houston," Grissom said. "You play good against some teams, bad against some teams."

It was the fifth victory in a row for the Expos, who trail Pittsburgh by three games in the NL East race. Despite the loss, Atlanta still commands the West with a 61/2-game lead over Cincinnati, which beat the New York Mets 4-3 Thursday night.

The Expos jumped on Charlie Leibrandt (11-6) for six runs and seven hits in the first three innings, and the Braves never seriously threatened to catch up.

Pirates 9, Giants 3

At Three Rivers Stadium, Orlando Merced drove in five runs as Pittsburgh continued to match Montreal win for win, completing a three-game sweep of San Francisco. The Pirates have won five straight, 7 of 8 and 24 of 32.

The Giants have lost nine in a row, their longest losing streak since they dropped 10 straight June 10-20, 1985, and are 8-17 since announcing their planned move to St. Petersburg, Fla., next season.

Reds 4, Mets 3

At Riverfront Stadium, Paul O'Neill doubled home the tying run in the ninth inning and scored the winning run when New York failed to turn a double play as Cincinnati ended its seven-game losing streak.

Cincinnati shattered the Mets' two-year, ninth-inning invincibility. New York had won 116 straight games since Sept. 30, 1990, when it took a lead into the ninth.

American League

White Sox 7, Royals 3

In Kansas City, Mo., Jack McDowell notched his American League-leading 19th victory, while Lance Johnson drove in three runs and scored another, carrying the Chicago past Kansas City.