With his name prominently mention in trade rumors, Greg Maddux may make his last start with the Chicago Cubs as they try continue their dominance over the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals when they continue a four-game series on Saturday.
Chicago (41-61) is 8-3 against St. Louis (58-44) this season. The Cubs also have won six straight at Wrigley Field from the Cardinals dating back to last year.
With Monday’s trade deadline coming up and Chicago out of the playoff race, Maddux (8-11, 4.83 ERA) may be headed to a contender. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he will let Maddux—who has a no-trade clause—decide if he wants to leave Chicago again.
“I told Greg Maddux a long time ago that I have no interest in getting rid of him,” Hendry said. “If people call, I’ll let Greg know. He’s earned the right to do what he wants to do.”
In 1992, Maddux left Chicago to sign with the Atlanta Braves. He returned to the Cubs as a free agent in 2004.
Maddux struggled in his last start, but was able to end his six-game losing streak. The 40-year-old allowed seven runs and 10 hits in six innings in an 8-7 win over the New York Mets on Monday for his first win since beating Cincinnati on May 9. With his next win, Maddux will tie 19th century pitcher John Clarkson for 11th place on the all-time list with 327 victories.
Maddux had two strong games against St. Louis in April, winning both outings after allowing only one run in 13 1-3 innings. Maddux, though, suffered a loss against the Cardinals on June 4, giving up six runs and nine hits in five innings as the Cubs fell 9-6 in St. Louis.
Anthony Reyes (2-4, 4.57) will start for the Cardinals, who look to avoid their first three-game losing streak since dropping a season-high eight in a row from June 20-27.
Reyes allowed a season-worst six runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings in a 7-0 loss to Colorado on Monday. The right-hander gave up leadoff extra-base hits in each of the first three innings.
“It’s tough, but it’s part of the game,” he said. “I’ve got to do a better job not giving those up. And I’ve got to do a better job of making sure they stay on base instead of scoring.”
Reyes took the loss in his one career appearance against the Cubs, giving up a run and two hits in two innings of relief as St. Louis lost 7-4 on Sept. 18.
The Cardinals’ road struggles against the Cubs continued on Friday. Juan Pierre’s bases-loaded triple highlighted a six-run fourth inning and Chicago capitalized on an error by St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen to beat the Cardinals 6-5 in the second game of the series on Friday.
The game was tied at 3 with two outs in the fourth when Chicago starter Carlos Marmol hit a grounder to Rolen. The six-time Gold Glover threw high to first, pulling Albert Pujols off the bag, keeping the inning alive and loading the bases for Pierre.
Pierre, who led off the game with a double, followed with his eighth triple to put the Cubs ahead.
Rolen has nine errors this year. He had 16 over the past two seasons combined.
Cardinals right fielder Juan Encarnacion went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. He has four home runs and 11 RBIs in 14 games since the All-Star break.
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