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Cubs' Maddux blanks Brewers, climbs career wins list

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Greg Maddux wants to keep his streak alive -- the right way.

Maddux mixed efficient work on the mound with a quick glove to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 on Thursday.

Maddux (13-13) has won at least 15 games in a record 17 seasons. The Cubs have nine games left this year, and Chicago manager Dusty Baker has tinkered with his rotation to give Maddux the ball two more times.

"I'd love to win my last two starts," he said. "I'd like to finish over .500 personally, but you've got to go about it the right way."

Maddux did Thursday in earning his 318th career win, tying him with Phil Niekro for 15th on the career list. He plans to pursue Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton, next on the list at 324, by pitching again next season, which would be his 20th.

"I think I'm going to come back, I want to come back next year," said Maddux, who returned to the Cubs last year after 11 seasons in Atlanta. "I was under the impression that I signed a three-year deal."

But Maddux doesn't think about the streak's importance to the game, or its relevance in sports history, he said.

"Maybe they'll just drop the number to 13 or 14 or whatever," Maddux said. "I just worry about throwing a good pitch -- making pitches -- and let everything else away from that just go. I'll do it my next two starts and I'll do it for the next however many starts I have left in my career."

Throwing only 78 pitches, Maddux held the Brewers to four hits in eight innings while striking out four and walking none before leaving with a knot in his back, which he said won't affect his next start.

"That was pitch preservation," Baker said. "He made them all count. That's the thing -- the guy can pitch."

Ahead 3-0 in the fifth, Maddux also showed why he's won 14 Gold Gloves. Bill Hall doubled with one out and advanced to third on Russell Branyan's single.

Damian Miller, 10-for-26 lifetime against the four-time Cy Young winner, hit a liner up the middle that Maddux snared. Branyan, who had taken off, had no chance to return to the base as Maddux casually flipped the ball to Derrek Lee to end the inning.

"I just got lucky," Maddux said. "I just threw my glove up and it stuck, every now and then you get a break and that was a break for us."

Brewers manager Ned Yost said Maddux's play affected his young team. The Brewers didn't have another baserunner until Ryan Dempster walked one in the ninth in picking up his 29th save in 31 opportunities.

"There's not a lot of pitchers that can catch that ball," Yost said. "That ball was smashed."

The game was scoreless in the third when Michael Barrett led off with a double against Rick Helling (2-1). Maddux swung away after showing bunt and hit a pop fly, but Neifi Perez flared a double off the left-field line to make it 1-0.

Helling, who finished after six innings with three earned runs, three walks and five strikeouts, got out of trouble in the fourth after walking the first two batters, but couldn't escape again in the fifth.

Barrett walked, Maddux struck out attempting to bunt and Perez singled. Helling then threw a pitch about four feet over the head and wide of Miller, scoring Barrett and sending Perez to third. Todd Walker's sacrifice fly gave Chicago a 3-0 lead.

Behind Maddux, the Cubs avoided being swept for the second time this season in Miller Park.

Maddux threw just 66 pitches in seven innings, and hadn't thrown more than 11 pitches in any inning to that point despite rarely reaching above 85 mph. Still, he retired the Brewers in the seventh on five pitches.

"It was vintage Maddux," said Yost, who was on the Braves staff from 1991-2002. "I don't think there's a team out there that can beat him when he's on like he was today."

Notes

  • The Brewers activated P Julio Santana from the 15-day disabled list.
  • The Brewers have 10 wins in September. Last year, the Brewers won just 11 games from Sept. 1 on.
  • Chicago went 7-9 against the Brewers this season. It's the first time the Cubs have had a losing record against Milwaukee since 2002.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Greg Maddux yields four hits over eight innings for his 13th win of the year, 318th of his career. (AP)
Greg Maddux yields four hits over eight innings for his 13th win of the year, 318th of his career. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

G. Maddux
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 4
Chicago

N. Perez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
Neifi Perez, SS4131010 .280
Todd Walker, 2B3011002 .303
Derrek Lee, 1B4010022 .337
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B3000101 .263
Jeromy Burnitz, RF3000100 .263
Matt Murton, LF4010011 .333
Corey Patterson, CF4000022 .221
Michael Barrett, C2210110 .277
Greg Maddux, P3000012 .186
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .071
Totals303723810 
Batting
2B - Neifi Perez (32, Helling), Michael Barrett (30, Helling)
SF - Todd Walker (2)
RBI - Neifi Perez (53), Todd Walker (39)
SB - Neifi Perez (8, 3rd base off Helling/D. Miller)
CS - Neifi Perez (4, 2nd base by Davis/D. Miller)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Perez-Walker-Lee, Maddux-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Greg Maddux (W,13-13) 8400040 4.14
Ryan Dempster (S,29) 1000110 3.27
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 78-55, Ryan Dempster 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 11-7, Ryan Dempster 2-0
Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 26, Ryan Dempster 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF4000021 .308
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000100 .244
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000011 .275
Carlos Lee, LF3000000 .269
Geoff Jenkins, RF3010000 .287
Bill Hall, SS3010011 .277
Russell Branyan, 3B3010010 .254
Damian Miller, C3010002 .265
Rick Helling, P0000000 .000
   a- Trent Durrington, PH1000000 .250
    Kane Davis, P0000000 .000
    Jose Capellan, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeff Cirillo, PH1000000 .295
Totals28040155 
a-grounded out for Helling in the 6th
b-grounded out for Capellan in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bill Hall (35, Maddux)
SH - Rick Helling (1)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Hall-Weeks-Overbay, Weeks-Overbay, D. Miller-Weeks
Milwaukee Brewers
Rick Helling (L,2-1) 6533350 2.51
Kane Davis 2100030 3.14
Jose Capellan 1100000 3.46
WP - Rick Helling (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Helling 93-56, Kane Davis 30-19, Jose Capellan 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Helling 5-6
Batters Faced - Rick Helling 24, Kane Davis 6, Jose Capellan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31137
Game Time - 2:19
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Tim McClelland