Greg Maddux knows that he hasn’t pitching well this season. He’ll just continue trying to work through his struggles.
Enduring one of the most difficult seasons of his stellar career, the future Hall of Famer will look to break a two-start losing streak when the Atlanta Braves meet the Montreal Expos in the third game of their four-game series at Turner Field.
Over his past two starts, Maddux has allowed 11 earned runs in just nine innings.
On Monday, he lasted only four innings in his shortest outing since May 20. He gave up seven runs and six hits in an 8-1 loss to the Florida Marlins.
“I didn’t pitch good, I didn’t locate good and they took advantage,” Maddux said. “They hit my mistakes.”
Maddux will try not to make as many mistakes as the NL East-leading Braves look to win for just the fifth time in 11 games.
The Braves had lost three of four before Andruw Jones went 4-for-5 with two RBIs to lead them to an 8-6 victory on Friday. It was their first win over the Expos at Turner Field this season. Montreal swept a three-game series there to start the season.
The Expos, who won Thursday’s series opener 5-4, had won four of their previous six. They fell seven games behind the Braves but are just 1 1/2 games behind the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.
STANDINGS: Expos - 3rd place, 7 GB, NL East. Braves - 1st place, NL East.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Javier Vazquez (6-6, 4.05 ERA). Vazquez has lost three straight decisions and has allowed at least three earned runs in five consecutive starts. He worked six innings Monday, giving up three runs and seven hits in a 3-1 loss to the New York Mets. The 26-year-old right-hander is 6-7 with a 4.46 ERA in 12 career games against the Braves.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Maddux (6-8, 4.84 ERA). Maddux is 23-16 with a 2.46 ERA in 52 career games against the Expos.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .324 avg.; Orlando Cabrera, 11 HRs, 47 RBIs and 54 runs; Endy Chavez, 15 SBs. Braves - Gary Sheffield, .330 avg. and 68 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 23 HRs; Sheffield and Rafael Furcal, 67 runs; Furcal, 14 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 4-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - SS Cabrera is batting .316 (12-for-38) in his career against RHP Maddux. … RHP Dan Smith, who was placed on the disabled list Thursday, will have shoulder surgery for right rotator cuff inflammation. He’s likely out for the season. … Montreal has purchased the contract of RHP Bryan Hebson from Triple-A Edmonton. Braves - 3B Vinny Castilla is 11-for-23 (.478) with two homers in his career against RHP Vazquez. … RF Sheffield made his first error of the season on Friday when he misplayed a single in the seventh. … The Braves lead the majors with 126 home runs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 21-25 on the road; Braves - 28-13 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - IF Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; OF Vladimir Guerrero (back), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Luis Ayala (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Zach Day (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Smith (shoulder), 15-day DL. Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL.