Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Maddux eyeing milestone

Cubs pitcher picks up 299th career victory, 7-1

July 28, 2004

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— If Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker really wants to know why Greg Maddux's quest for 300 wins has been so quiet, all he has to do is listen to his selfless right-hander.

After beating the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-1, Tuesday night for his 299th career victory, Maddux shied away from the attention that will accompany his attempt to join the exclusive club.

"It's not about me. It's about us doing what we can to get into the postseason," Maddux said. "Let's just stay focused on what we have to do as a team. The last thing that I want to be is just any kind of distraction."

Maddux will try to become the 22nd pitcher in major-league history to win 300 games when he faces the Phillies on Sunday at Wrigley Field. He would be the first National Leaguer to accomplish the feat since Philadelphia's Steve Carlton on Sept. 23, 1983.

Maddux isn't thinking about history, but about October.

"I really believe that it's not about me, OK? I mean, I believe that two or three years from now, if I was to win 300 games, I'd be the only one happy about it. I think that if we were to do well in the postseason I would think 10 years from now people would still be happy about that," Maddux said.

"I feel like eventually I'm going to get there, but the main goal is to still be playing in October."

Before the game, Baker mentioned the lack of hoopla surrounding Maddux's rather quiet quest.

"It's been one of the quietest approaching-300s that I've ever seen," Baker said. "I know when Roger (Clemens) was approaching 300 last year in New York, that was like every day it was big headlines."

Baker said he was glad Maddux, who spent the best years of his career in Atlanta, would get the chance to win his 300th at Wrigley with the team that gave him his start in baseball.

"That would be great, to hopefully win 300 where he started," Baker said.

Maddux (10-7) gave up one earned run and four hits in a crisp, 79-pitch outing that lasted six innings at Miller Park. He walked one and struck out six in winning his third straight start for the first time in more than a year.

Sammy Sosa homered and doubled in a run, and Walker also homered off Ben Sheets (9-8), who lost his season-high third straight game, a stretch in which he's received just one run of support from the Brewers' feeble offense.

The Brewers (48-51) lost their season-high fifth straight game and fell a season-high three games below .500.

Pirates 8, Braves 4

Pittsburgh -- Rob Mackowiak came around to score on a bizarre, bases-loaded double when Atlanta catcher Johnny Estrada made two errors on one play -- he mishandled a throw and made a bad throw himself -- and Pittsburgh rallied with a five-run seventh inning.

The comeback was the Pirates' third in four days at home and their 15th victory in their last 17 home games. Atlanta's four-game winning streak ended along with J.D. Drew's 22-game hitting streak when he went 0-for-3 in the loss. Mike Gonzalez (3-0) got the win.

Cardinals 6, Reds 0

Cincinnati -- Jason Marquis hit a two-run double, pitched seven shutout innings for St. Louis and got homer support from Reggie Sanders and Jim Edmonds in his eighth straight win. Marquis (11-4) hasn't lost since May 26, going 8-0 with a pair of no-decisions and a 2.90 earned-run average. He left the game for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. Marquis also doubled home a pair of runs with two outs in the third inning off Cory Lidle (6-9).

Astros 10, D'backs 3

Houston -- Adam Everett hit two of the Astros' season-high four homers, and Roy Oswalt pitched seven innings of two-hit ball. Jeff Bagwell had a three-run homer, and Jeff Kent a two-run shot as Houston returned Arizona to its losing ways. The Diamondbacks snapped a 14-game losing streak Monday night. Oswalt (10-8) gave up a single to leadoff hitter Steve Finley, then retired the next 14 hitters. After a walk to Scott Hairston and a single by Alex Cintron, Oswalt retired his last seven. He struck out five and walked one while beating Edgar Gonzalez (0-3).

Mets 4, Expos 2

Montreal -- Tom Glavine got his first win since June 13, and Mike Cameron hit a three-run homer in a victory that ended New York' four-game losing streak. Cameron connected for the second straight game in the sixth against Zach Day (5-10), and New York ended Montreal's season-high five-game winning streak. Glavine (8-8) allowed two runs and seven hits -- including a career-high four by Brad Wilkerson -- in six innings for his first win since beating Kansas City 5-2 more than six weeks ago.

Marlins 5, Phillies 2

Miami -- Mike Lowell hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, Miguel Cabrera had a two-run double, and the Marlins set a franchise record for consecutive home victories against one opponent. Philadelphia has lost 12 consecutive games in Miami, including five this year. Florida improved to 9-1 against the Phillies this season and has won 21 of their past 24 games dating to last year. Carl Pavano (11-4) allowed two runs in eight innings.

Rockies 7, Dodgers 2

Denver -- Aaron Cook pitched into the eighth inning for his first home win in a year, and Jeromy Burnitz homered for the fifth straight home game and drove in four runs for Colorado. Todd Helton and Todd Greene also homered for the Rockies, who had 15 hits to snap a three-game home losing streak. Paul Lo Duca hit his 10th homer, but Los Angeles stranded 10 runners to end its run of nine straight road wins.

Giants 6, Padres 4

San Diego -- Jason Schmidt pitched eight solid innings to beat San Diego for the first time in three starts this season.

Dustan Mohr went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer for the Giants, who ended a six-game losing skid against the Padres.

Schmidt (13-3) rebounded from one of his worst starts of the season in which the Padres ended his career-high 12-game winning streak Thursday.

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