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© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2001


Maddux mows down Brewers

ATLANTA -- Greg Maddux bounced back from his worst start of the season with one of the best performances of his career.

Maddux pitched a two-hitter and had a career-high 14 strikeouts Wednesday night, leading the Braves over Paul Rigdon and the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0.

"As a hitter, you can't guess with Maddux," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I don't know why. He's just one of those special guys. He was phenomenal."

Maddux retired his last 13 batters, striking out six in a row at one point.

"I looked up and saw he had 11 strikeouts with only 80-something pitches," Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone marveled. "That's going one strike, two strikes, three strikes, with not too much fooling around."

Appropriately, Tyler Houston struck out swinging for the final out on a fastball low and away. Maddux pumped his fist, took the ball from catcher Paul Bako and threw it high into the stands on his way to the dugout.

"I was throwing it at my in-laws," Maddux said, grinning mischievously.

He snapped a two-game losing streak, which included a miserable performance at Arizona six days earlier. Maddux surrendered seven runs and nine hits in 52/3 innings as the Braves lost to the Diamondbacks 13-6.

"Mentally, I didn't panic," he said. "You've got to know how to handle a loss."

Maddux has two one-hitters in his career, including a game that was shortened to five innings by rain. This was his second two-hitter, the first since Aug. 20, 1995, at St. Louis.

"He can't pitch any better than that," Brewers manager Davey Lopes said. "If he can, I don't want to see it."

ASTROS 6, METS 5 (10): Lance Berkman and Moises Alou hit back-to-back homers in the 10th inning as visiting Houston rallied from four runs down before holding on.

Until the Astros hit five homers off the Mets' bullpen, the biggest excitement came when Houston's Jose Lima hit New York's Jay Payton with a pitch in the sixth inning, causing both benches to clear and the two players to be ejected.

Alou, Craig Biggio and Daryle Ward homered in the eighth to tie the score for the Astros, who had lost 10 of 14.

DODGERS 7, REDS 3: Kevin Brown hit his first career homer, one of four off Pete Harnisch, as visiting Los Angeles rolled.

Marquis Grissom homered twice and Eric Karros added a two-run shot off Harnisch, who gave up four homers in a game for the first time since 1996.

The Reds are concerned about Harnisch, their No. 1 starter who has been bothered by soreness in his forearm. His ERA jumped to 6.53 in his roughest outing of the season.

CUBS 8, PADRES 3: Sammy Sosa hit his 200th home run at Wrigley Field, and the rest of the Cubs joined in on the longball parade.

Gary Matthews Jr., Bill Mueller and Eric Young all hit two-run homers to back Jon Lieber, who got his first victory at home this season.

Sosa, who has 394 career home runs, joined Ernie Banks (290), Billy Williams (231) and Ron Santo (212) as the only Cubs with 200 homers at Wrigley.

ROCKIES 6, PHILLIES 2: Todd Hollandsworth homered and had two RBI, and former Devil Rays farmhand Brooks Kieschnick hit a two-run single for his first hit in the majors in four years for visiting Colorado.

Kieschnick, called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday, came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh. His single off reliever Wayne Gomes drove in Hollandsworth and Neifi Perez.

GIANTS 7, PIRATES 6: Armando Rios hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth as San Francisco sent host Pittsburgh to its fourth straight loss.

Barry Bonds hit his 12th homer of the season and the 506th of his career, and Russ Ortiz remained undefeated against the Pirates despite pitching his worst game against them.

EXPOS 4, D'BACKS 3: Tony Armas Jr. hit a two-run single and allowed one hit in six shutout innings to lead host Montreal. Arizona's Luis Gonzalez hit his major league-leading 14th home run off Guillermo Mota in the seventh.

CARDINALS 4, MARLINS 2 (11): Ray Lankford hit a two-run home run in the 11th to lead visiting St. Louis. Florida's Cliff Floyd tied it at 2 with a home run, his seventh, leading off the ninth.

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