Maddux, who last lost on June 30, was impressive against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. Lasting five innings, he gave up just two hits in a 2-0 win. He could have gone longer, but the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 26 minutes in the third inning.
Maddux stayed loose by pitching to his teammates in an indoor batting cage during the delay.
“That’s the most Maddux has pitched this season,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. “Against live hitting, just like a game. So for him, he went nine innings.”
With the win, Maddux reached 10 victories for the 16th straight season. He needs five more to become the first player in baseball history with 15 wins in 16 consecutive years.
“You only get 35 starts, you hate to give one up because of the weather,” Maddux said.
The Braves will look for another strong effort from Maddux as they try to bounce back from a 4-3 loss in Tuesday’s series opener. Atlanta had won three straight and five of six.
Richie Sexson homered twice on Tuesday, leading the Brewers to their second win in six games. It was his second multihomer game against the Braves this season. He hit three in a 12-5 victory at Atlanta on April 25.
“Just timing,” Sexson said. “By no means is Atlanta Braves pitching just easy money.”
But the Braves certainly know what a dangerous threat Sexson poses at the plate.
“He gets the ball out over the plate, he’s going to crush it,” Cox said. “He’s hit us real good this year. He hits a lot of people good.”
STANDINGS: Braves - 1st place, NL East. Brewers - 6th place, 15 GB, NL Central.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Maddux (10-8, 4.40 ERA). Maddux is 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA in 10 career starts against Milwaukee.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wayne Franklin (7-8, 5.16 ERA). Franklin has struggled in recent outings, allowing at least four earned runs in four of his last five starts. He worked six innings Friday, giving up seven runs and 11 hits in an 8-4 loss to the Montreal Expos. In three career games against the Braves, the 29-year-old left-hander has no record and a 4.82 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Braves - Gary Sheffield, .328 avg. and 88 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 30 HRs; Rafael Furcal, 92 runs and 18 SBs. Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .301 avg. and 23 SBs; Sexson, 31 HRs, 84 RBIs and 68 runs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Braves - RHP Maddux was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against the Brewers last season. … The Braves are batting .327 since the All-Star break. … The Braves lead the NL with 164 homers, the same number they hit all of last season. Brewers - 2B Young is batting .212 (11-for-52) in his career against RHP Maddux. … CF Podsednik leads all NL rookies with 32 multihit games. … 1B Sexson is batting .459 (17-for-37) with four homers in his last 10 games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Braves - 33-22 on the road; Brewers - 20-35 at home.
INJURIES: Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Trey Hodges (elbow), 15-day DL. Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Ford (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Glendon Rusch (groin), 15-day DL.