He’ll try to win his third consecutive decision when the Cubs conclude their three-game series against the Montreal Expos at Wrigley Field.
On Aug. 9, Maddux became the 22nd player in major league history with 300 wins in an 8-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Since that game, he is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts.
Maddux allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings in a 5-2 win over the Montreal Expos on Aug. 30. He needs five wins to tie Hall of Famer Mickey Welch for 21st on the all-time list.
”(Maddux) was great tonight,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said after the win on Aug. 30. “He had it working and going on.”
The 38-year-old right-hander also went 2-for-3 with an RBI single.
“Hitting is the best part of the game,” Maddux said. “Seriously, it’s such a blast when you get a hit.”
The Cubs had won three of four before falling to the Expos 7-6 in 12 innings Tuesday. Despite the loss, they maintained their half-game lead over San Francisco and Houston in the NL wild-card race.
Montreal, which has the second-worst record in the NL, has split the first two games of a 13-game road trip. The Expos will not return to Olympic Stadium until Sept. 21.
STANDINGS (through Set. 6): Expos - 5th place, 24 1/2 GB, NL East. Cubs - 2nd place, 16 1/2 GB, NL Central.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Scott Downs (2-5, 7.22 ERA). Downs has lost two of his past three starts, allowing 17 runs over 15 1-3 innings in that span. The 28-year-old left-hander surrendered five runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings Friday in a 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Downs, who has never faced the Cubs, is 0-3 with a 24.43 ERA in three road starts this season.
CUBS PROBABLE STARTER: Maddux (13-8, 3.70 ERA). Maddux has allowed one earned run over 15 innings in his previous two starts. He is 24-15 with a 2.38 ERA in 55 career starts against the Expos.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Expos - Jose Vidro, .294 avg.; Brad Wilkerson, 27 HRs and 93 runs; Tony Batista, 85 RBIs; Endy Chavez, 24 SBs. Cubs - Aramis Ramirez, .316 avg. and 90 RBIs; Moises Alou, 33 HRs and 87 runs; Corey Patterson, 27 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cubs, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Expos - 1B Wilkerson is batting .333 (9-for-27) in his career against RHP Maddux. … C Schneider committed his first error since July 2, 2003 on Tuesday, a span of 166 games. … RHP Rocky Biddle had an MRI on his right shoulder after complaining of a burning sensation Monday night. Results weren’t immediately available. Cubs - RF Sammy Sosa has missed two straight games with a sore right hip. … OF Ben Grieve, who started in Sosa’s place Tuesday, needed three stitches to close a cut over his left eye and also had a sore shoulder after hitting the Wrigley Field wall. … CF Patterson went 4-for-6 Tuesday after going 0-for-17 over his previous four games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Expos - 25-42 on the road; Cubs - 38-29 at home.
INJURIES: Expos - INF Nick Johnson (cheekbone), 15-day DL; RHP Francis Beltran (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Zach Day (finger), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Rauch (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Tomo Ohka (forearm), 60-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Vidro (knee), 60-day DL. Cubs - RHP Kyle Farnsworth (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Joe Borowski (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Todd Hollandsworth (shin), 60-day DL.