Pittsburgh (24-28) at Chicago (28-26)

Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 2:20 pm EDT Sun Jun 6, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Six days after suffering a mild muscle strain in his last start, Gregg Maddux returns to the mound as the Chicago Cubs close out a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

In a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros on Monday, Maddux pitched 6 2-3 strong innings before leaving with the injury.

“I’m OK. I mean I was more tired than anything. I mean there is nothing wrong,” Maddux said after his 293rd career win.

Maddux received treatment reluctantly, according to Cubs trainer Dave Groeschner.

“We’re trying to make him a better patient,” Groeschner said of Maddux. “To him, (the muscle strain) is not a big deal.”

Maddux received heat treatment, and had no problems after a throwing session Thursday.

The Cubs are hoping Sammy Sosa’s recovery will move along as quickly. The slugger has been on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his lower back, an ailment brought on by two violent sneezes May 16 in San Diego.

After a workout in the batting cage Saturday, Sosa said he is still experiencing pain in his back at the end of his swing. He does not have a definite timetable for his return and does not plan to rush.

“I don’t know when I will come back,” said Sosa, who is batting .291 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs.

The Cubs ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 win Saturday. Carlos Zambrano pitched eight solid innings and Rey Ordonez delivered a two-run single in the seventh. Derrek Lee added a two-run homer, his sixth of the season.

Pittsburgh was without manager Lloyd McClendon, serving the first of a two-game suspension for his shouting match with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa on Thursday that caused both benches to empty.

The Pirates have lost six of their last seven games.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Vogelsong SF vs. G. Maddux LAD
6-13 Record 16-11
6.50 ERA 4.02
92 K 151
67 BB 33
1.62 WHIP 1.18