Maddux Wins No. 298; Cubs Beat Reds 13-2

Monday, July 19th 2004, 5:58 am
By: News On 6

Greg Maddux seemed as if he was in a hurry to get his 298th career victory. Jason Schmidt looked lost trying for his 13th straight win. Maddux needed just 92 pitches over a crisp 2 hours, 15 minutes for his second straight complete game, limiting the visiting Cincinnati Reds to just four hits in the Chicago Cubs' 13-2 rout Thursday.

``Runs, man. Runs are a beautiful thing,'' Maddux said. ``When you get a lead like that, it changes the way the game is played.''

Maddux (9-7) allowed just four hits in his second consecutive complete game and 105th of his career. It was the first time he pitched back-to-back complete games since Sept. 7 and 13, 2000.

In San Francisco, Schmidt couldn't figure out umpire Matt Hollowell's strike zone and failed to get out of the sixth inning in his worst outing of the season. He lost for the first time in 17 starts, and the Giants fell to the San Diego Padres 9-4.

``There was a lot of funny stuff going on,'' Schmidt said. ``It was a mind-boggling afternoon. Every umpire has got his own zone, and you've got to adjust to it.''

In other NL games, it was: Montreal 4, N.Y. Mets 1; Atlanta 2, Pittsburgh 1, 10 innings; Florida 10, Philadelphia 8; Los Angeles 4, Colorado 2; Houston 10, Arizona 3; and St. Louis 4, Milwaukee 0.

In Chicago, Moises Alou homered twice and Mark Grudzielanek had a three-run shot off Cory Lidle (6-8), and Aramis Ramierz added a grand slam off Ryan Wagner to back Maddux, who walked none and struck out six.

The only hitter to give Maddux any trouble was Reds catcher Javier Valentin, who hit two solo homers, one in the third and fifth innings.

Maddux, who shut out the Brewers in his previous start, will get a chance for No. 299 next week at Miller Park.

``Really, it's not about me,'' Maddux said of 300 wins. ``It's about trying to get to the postseason and having another shot at getting a ring.''

Schmidt (12-3) struggled from the start, allowing two singles to open the game before striking out the side. He started the third by walking Padres starter David Wells and never got back on track.

He gave up a two-run single to former teammate Rich Aurilia and a three-run homer to Jay Payton in a six-run third, and was removed after giving up a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Overall, Schmidt allowed nine hits, eight runs and four walks in 5 2-3 innings, ending the majors' longest winning streak since Toronto's Roy Halladay won 15 straight last season.

Wells (6-5) allowed four runs, 10 hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings, but still moved above .500 for the first time this season with his fourth straight victory.

``When you're going against one of the best pitchers in the game, you've got to be ready,'' Wells said. ``He's not going to lose very often.''

Marlins 10, Phillies 8

At Philadelphia, Alex Gonzalez and Jeff Conine each hit three-run homers, and Mike Redmond added a solo shot to lead Florida over the Phillies.

Armando Benitez bailed the Marlins out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning, coming in to face Jason Michaels with a 3-1 count. After striking out Michaels, he got Mike Lieberthal to fly out.

Benitez then pitched the ninth for his 33rd save, protecting the win for Carl Pavano (10-4).

Randy Wolf (4-6) was the loser.

Braves 2, Pirates 1, 10 innings

At Atlanta, Johnny Estrada drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 10th inning against Salomon Torres (6-4), who was pitching for the first time since serving a three-game suspension for throwing twice at Oakland's Damian Miller last month.

Chris Reitsma (4-2) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

Expos 4, Mets 1

At New York, Tony Batista hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Julio Franco (2-7) in the eighth inning, leading Montreal over the Mets.

Brad Wilkerson added homer for the Expos.

Luis Ayala (2-6) pitched a perfect seventh in relief of starter Zach Day for the win.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 2

At Los Angeles, Milton Bradley hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and the Dodgers pulled off another late comeback, beating Colorado for their 15th victory in 17 games.

Aaron Cook pitched seven innings for the Rockies in a spirited duel with Odalis Perez and handed a 2-1 lead to Tim Harikkala (4-2).

Guillermo Mota (8-3) got the win, and Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save.

Astros 10, Diamondbacks 3

At Phoenix, Carlos Beltran drove in three runs with two homers and Adam Everett tied his career high with four RBIs to power Houston past Arizona, the Diamondbacks' second 11-game losing streak this season.

Everett had a two-run homer off Edgar Gonzalez (0-2). Roy Oswalt (9-8) picked up his fifth win in seven starts.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 0

At St. Louis, Jason Marquis (10-4) threw eight sharp innings, Jim Edmonds homered off Ben Sheets (9-7) and the Cardinals shut out Milwaukee for the second consecutive game.

Edgar Renteria, Albert Pujols and John Mabry drove in a run apiece for St. Louis, which also shut out the Brewers 1-0 on Wednesday.