ATLANTA (AP) -- As usual, Greg Maddux gave the credit to his
Maddux became the first pitcher in major league history to win
at least 15 games in 16 consecutive seasons, leading the Atlanta
Braves over the Florida Marlins 8-0 Sunday.
Maddux (15-11) had shared the record of winning 15 or more games
in 15 straight seasons with Cy Young.
"Sometimes, you're pretty fortunate on the mound," Maddux
said. "It worked out. Probably the most special thing was seeing
the other 24 guys on the team really busting it for me. To see your
teammates go out of the way, that's pretty special."
He was referring to several outstanding defensive plays by
shortstop Rafael Furcal and a diving catch by center fielder Andruw
"I had a horseshoe," Maddux said.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Marlins
lead the NL wild-card race by one-half game over Philadelphia, a
4-3 loser to Cincinnati on Sunday.
The Marlins play the Braves on Monday then go home to open a
three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday.
Maddux pitched five scoreless innings and allowed only one hit
in his 288th career victory. He tied Tommy John for 22nd place on
the all-time win list.
"We got it done in great fashion. Greg pitched great, the
offense did its job and the bullpen slammed it," Braves manager
Bobby Cox said. "It was a great way to accomplish such a great
Maddux was struck on the right ankle by a hard grounder off the
bat of Juan Pierre for the final out of the third inning. The
right-hander had the ankle taped in the bottom of the inning, then
went out and retired the Marlins in order in the fourth and fifth
The NL East champion Braves scored four times in the fifth for a
6-0 lead and Maddux left for a pinch-hitter.
Maddux had a bruise and X-rays were negative. He was expected to
make his next start.
"I'll be OK," Maddux said. "It was kind of hard to keep my
weight on it. It was a little uncomfortable."
He said he was glad he wasn't hit in the knee.
"With a foot you can go on," he said. "I don't know how much
it swelled up, but I know it hurt."
Maddux gave up just a leadoff single to Derrek Lee in the second
inning. He didn't strike out any or give up a walk and threw only
43 pitches, 29 strikes.
"He's a smart cookie. He knows how to pitch," Florida manager
Jack McKeon said. "He doesn't get you out, he makes you get
Chipper Jones drove in four runs for the Braves with a two-run
homer -- his 27th -- a sacrifice fly and RBI single.
The Marlins wound up with four hits, getting two off Darren
Holmes in the seventh. Lee had three hits.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jones' sacrifice fly
and made it 2-0 in the third on his run-scoring single.
Atlanta broke it open with the four-run fifth against Carl
Pavano (11-13). Javy Lopez hit a two-run double and Rafael Furcal
drew a bases-loaded walk.
Pavano went 4 1-3 innings. He allowed seven hits and six runs.
It was Maddux's third try at No. 15. In his last start Tuesday
night in Montreal, he left with a 4-1 lead after seven innings, but
he got a no-decision when the bullpen blew the lead and the Braves
lost 5-4 in 11 innings.
In his previous start against Philadelphia on Sept. 11, Maddux
gave up 12 hits and seven runs in 3 2-3 innings in an 8-3 loss.Game notes
Braves 3B Vinny Castilla left the game in the sixth inning
when a grounder by Alex Gonzalez struck the middle finger of his
right hand. Castilla threw out Gonzalez. X-rays were negative and
he was listed as day-to-day. ... Prior to Sunday, Maddux was 1-2
with an 11.25 ERA in 12 innings against the Marlins this season.
- Home Plate Umpire - Wally Bell
- First Base Umpire - Bill Welke
- Second Base Umpire - John Hirschbeck
- Third Base Umpire - Matt Hollowell