Maddux leaves after five; Braves' 7-game run ends

PHOENIX (AP) -- Greg Maddux has a sore muscle in his right side.

The rest of the Atlanta Braves are just plain sore after their 6-3

loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

Greg Maddux tested his ailing back, then left the game after the fifth inning. He's day-to-day, the team says.
Greg Maddux tested his ailing back, then left the game after the fifth inning. He's day-to-day, the team says.

The object of their wrath was the tall but narrow strike zone of

home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.

"Some people just don't take pride in their job,'' a bitter Chipper Jones said. "None of us feel like we got beat, but we've got an 'L' in the loss column. It's hard enough to beat the world champs, without some help from others.''

Hernandez threw manager Bobby Cox and pitching coach Leo Mazzone

out of the game, which ended the Braves' seven-game winning streak.

"It's not the umpire's fault,'' Cox said. "They're being told to call balls up around somebody's head and underneath their shoetops, and nothing on the white-black.''

Maddux threw five strong innings before the strained muscle forced him to leave the game with the score tied 1-1.

Erubiel Durazo doubled twice, scored two runs and drove in the

go-ahead run in Arizona's three-run eighth inning. The Diamondbacks

squared the three-game showdown series between the NL division

leaders at 1-1.

Steve Finley's two-run double in the eighth inning off

ex-Arizona reliever Darren Holmes (2-2) helped the Diamondbacks

snap Atlanta's longest winning string of the season. Catcher Rod

Barajas homered and threw two runners out trying to steal second.

"These are big games,'' Barajas said. "These guys have the

best record in baseball, and we want to let people now that we're

still the team.''

Holmes had not allowed a run in his last nine appearances. The

doubles by Durazo and Finley came with two outs.

Matt Mantei (2-1) got the victory despite giving up a two-run,

game-tying, 431-foot homer to Jones in the eighth.

Byung-Hyun Kim pitched the ninth for his 28th save.

In the second wild game between the top two teams in the

National League in as many nights, Braves reliever Mike Remlinger

also left with a pulled groin. Hernandez threw Cox out in the third

inning and Mazone when Remlinger was being replaced in the eighth.

The Braves placed Remlinger on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday.

Maddux, with a 1-5 career record against Arizona, allowed just

one run on three hits. He threw only 63 pitches before his injury

forced him out of the game.

The Braves said Maddux's condition would be evaluated on a day to day basis.

"I don't think it's that big a deal,'' Maddux said.

The Braves were most incensed by Remlinger's pitch to Tony Womack to

start the eighth that was called a ball when it looked like strike three. Womack would later single to start the winning rally.

"It should have been a 1-2-3 eighth, bottom line,'' Jones said. "If that would have been a Braves batter up there, I guarantee he would have been rung up.''

Womack said Hernandez told him "he was calling them up and

down, not in and out.'' Arizona starter Rick Helling said he'd been

told the same thing by Hernandez.

Womack then singled, and Remlinger was replaced by Holmes with a

2-0 count on Craig Counsell. Counsell got a sacrifice bunt, then

Luis Gonzalez walked to bring up Durazo.

"That's a good moment right there,'' Durazo said. "You want to

hit the ball and win the game.''

Arizona had taken a 3-1 lead in the seventh thanks to reliever

Tim Spooneybarger's throwing error.

With the score 1-all, Spooneybarger walked Finley. David

Dellucci bounced one to the pitcher, but Spooneybarger's short

throw sailed over the head of first baseman Matt Franco, and Finley

raced home from first.

Catcher Henry Blanco threw Dellucci out at third on the play for

the second out. But Barajas hit Spooneybarger's next pitch into the

left-field seats for just his third home run to put Arizona up 3-1.

Helling, just off the disabled list after missing three starts

with a sprained right ankle, allowed 10 hits, but just one run, in

seven innings. He left with a 3-1 lead but got no decision.

Maddux limited Arizona to a bunt single by Womack through four innings but as he warmed up for the fifth, he felt the strained muscle in his side. Hernandez and Mazzone came to the mound and watched Maddux throw a few practice pitches, but the Atlanta starter stayed in the game and Arizona tied it at 1-1.

Game notes
Helling's stint on the DL snapped his string of 164 consecutive starts dating to Aug. 18, 1997. ... Atlanta's Rafael Furcal is 6-for-10 in the series with two doubles. ... Barajas

threw out Wes Helms and Andruw Jones trying to steal second to end

the second and sixth innings. ... Arizona's Luis Gonzalez was

0-for-3 and is hitless in his last 13 at-bats.