Braves 2, Dodgers 0

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ATLANTA (AP)—During a rain delay, Greg Maddux pitched to his teammates in the indoor batting cages, throwing about 40 extra pitches to stay loose.

It worked.

Maddux reached 10 wins for the 16th straight season and Andruw Jones homered before leaving with an injury, leading the Atlanta Braves past the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 Friday night.

“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.”

Robin Ventura, traded from the New York Yankees to the Dodgers a day earlier, barely arrived in time for batting practice and didn’t start. He entered at first base during a double switch in the sixth and went 0-for-2 with a flyout to end the game.

Maddux (10-8) won his fourth straight decision, returning to the mound after a rain delay of 1 hour, 26 minutes in the third inning. He gave up two hits in five innings, throwing 67 official pitches in his 283rd career win.

With five more victories this season, he’ll become the first pitcher to win at least 15 games for 16 straight seasons. He’s tied with Cy Young for the longest streak.

Cox gave Maddux credit for coming up with a way to keep active during the rain delay.

“You only get 35 starts, you hate to give one up because of the weather,” Maddux said.

Maddux said he didn’t remember who he faced during the session indoors, but he admitted he gave up a few hits.

“Yeah, I gave up three or four,” he said. “Got to get the boys locked in for down the road.”

The Dodgers lost their fourth straight, and they’ve scored only 11 runs in their past nine games. They fell seven games behind Philadelphia in the chase for the NL wild card.

“We know what we have to do, “ Los Angeles catcher Paul Lo Duca said. “It’s a cliche, but we have to take it one pitch at a time. We have the talent. This is just going on too long.”

Jones hit a solo shot off Hideo Nomo (12-9) in the second before leaving with a strained muscle in his right side. Robert Fick doubled home Chipper Jones in the fourth for the only other run.

Nomo didn’t return after the rain delay.

Kevin Gryboski got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth, and John Smoltz closed the four-hitter for his 41st save in 44 chances.

The Dodgers have been blanked nine times. Atlanta pitched its third shutout.

“It’s a very similar story. We had more chances to score runs,” Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. “We had the bases loaded three times. That was a golden opportunity in the eighth. One basehit ties the game.”

Andruw Jones aggravated a strained oblique muscle in the fourth inning when he swung and missed at a pitch from Wilson Alvarez. Immediately after the swing, Jones grimaced and grabbed his right side.

Cox came out with trainer Jeff Porter to examine Jones, but he stayed in and eventually flied out to center. Jones didn’t take the field for the fifth, and he was replaced by Darren Bragg.

Jones originally injured the muscle last Sunday against Montreal. He is day-to-day.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the eighth against Roberto Hernandez, using a double and two walks. Gryboski took over and got Adrian Beltre to ground into a double play to end the inning

Beltre slammed his helmet to the ground after the throw beat him to first.

“Gryboski did a great job. Bases loaded like that, that’s pressure, man,” Cox said. “You’ve got to make the pitch. He ran it to a full count, but hemade the pitch.”


Maddux tied Jim Kaat for 27th on the career wins list. … Dodgers CF Dave Roberts stole a base in the first inning, then was thrown out trying to steal second in the third. When he slid, his left hand appeared to catch the dirt awkwardly, and he ended up sliding on top of his left arm. He was rubbing his arm as he jogged off the field. … The Braves had their own share of baserunning blunders; Fick and Rafael Furcal were picked off by Alvarez. … Rickey Henderson pinch-hit for the Dodgers leading off the ninth and fliedout.

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