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  Monday, May 29 4:05pm ET
Galarraga homer carries Braves

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jon Lieber made one bad pitch all day. And when you're facing Greg Maddux, that can be one too many.

Lieber lost his no-hitter when Andres Galarraga homered with two outs in the seventh, and that's all Maddux needed Monday as the Atlanta Braves beat the Cubs 1-0 -- a rare pitchers' duel in this year of the home run.

Jon Lieber
Jon Lieber turned out to be a poor man's Greg Maddux after losing to him 1-0. Lieber allowed two hits.

"It's all for nothing, it seems like," Lieber said. "In a tight ballgame late, you really got to be careful. When you face Greg, you've got to be on top of your game because there aren't too many days he's going to give up a lot of runs."

And Lieber was on top of his game until the seventh. After giving up a walk to Quilvio Veras to start the game, he retired 20 straight.

"He would have no-hit the '27 Yankees the way he was throwing," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, who was ejected for arguing a strike call with home plate umpire Doug Eddings in the sixth.

Lieber, working on three days' rest, struck out a career-high 12. After getting Chipper Jones on a called strike three with two outs in the seventh -- Jones was subsequently ejected for throwing his bat -- Lieber hung an 0-1 pitch to Galarraga.

Galarraga sent the ball into the left-field bleachers for his 13th homer.

"When Chipper got thrown out, I felt I had to do something for the team," Galarraga said. "It was the only mistake he made. It was a hanging slider and I was lucky to hit it."

Rafael Furcal's single in the eighth was the only other hit allowed by Lieber (5-4) over eight innings.

Maddux (7-1), winning his third straight, allowed just six hits and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth by starting a double play. In the eighth, Dave Martinez doubled off first base with one out, but Maddux got Sammy Sosa on a grounder and struck out Henry Rodriguez to end the threat.

"He got a slider up and it cost him the no-hitter and the game," Maddux said of Lieber. "He pitched good and at least he knows he pitched good. Sometimes you steal a win. Maybe today we stole one."

Lieber pitched a perfect game for 6 2/3 innings last September against the Cardinals, and it ended in similar fashion when Mark McGwire homered. The Cardinals followed with five more hits and sent Lieber to a 7-2 loss.

"Well, it's the same situation, I guess, if I think about it," Lieber said. "McGwire, I had him 0-1 and he hit a slider out. It's sort of awkward, you know."

When Lieber got Veras on a called third strike to end the sixth, Cox was ejected when he came out to argue with Eddings. Cox was tossed and then threw his hat down during the argument.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the fourth on a double, single and hit batsmen, but Maddux showed why he has long been one of the game's best fielding pitchers, grabbing Jose Nieves' comebacker and starting a 1-2-3 double play.

"Maddux did what he was supposed to do. He got out of the bases-loaded situation, and that was our one chance to really do something to him," Lieber said.

It was Maddux's first shutout and second complete game this season. He walked two and struck out eight in his 29th career shutout.

"He doesn't throw anything down the middle where you can get a good swing at it," Chicago catcher Jeff Reed said of Maddux.

Game notes
Lieber said the ejection of Cox and then Jones just before Galarraga's homer did not distract him. It was Cox's second ejection of the season. ... The Braves will put Greg McMichael on the DL with bicep tendinitis and call up Don Wengert from their Triple-A farm club in Richmond. ... The Cubs were hoping to activate Mark Grace from the DL based on his performance in batting practice, but Grace's hamstring still was sore and doctors didn't give him the OK. ... The Cubs are now 14-6 against Atlanta in the regular season since the start of the 1998 season. ... Controversial Braves reliever John Rocker had no apparent trouble in the close confines of the bullpen along the right-field line. Rocker chatted with fans and even shook hands with one while he was stretching. ... The crowd of 40,123 was the largest of the season at Wrigley Field.


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