Cubs 5, Brewers 4
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Simply being mentioned with Tom Seaver made Greg Maddux feel pretty good.
“Cool,” Maddux said. “Because you know what, I watched him. That was one of the guys I was lucky enough to watch.
“Growing up, I was a huge Reds fan. When he went to the Reds, I was all fired up and everything. So, yeah, that’s cool,” he said.
The Cubs, who were coming off a three-game sweep by the New York Yankees, had lost four in a row and six of seven.
Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez homered off Tomo Ohka (5-4) with two outs in the first for a 3-0 lead to support Maddux, who was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings by Florida in his last start.
He was much better against the Brewers.
Maddux said the early run support was important.
“It was quick—bam, bam,” he said. “It’s nice, it’s always nice to go out there with a lead.”
Maddux (6-4) gave up Lyle Overbay’s two-run homer in the third and Rickie Weeks’ RBI double in the sixth. He walked three and struck out two before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, and improved to 11-2 in 18 career starts against Milwaukee.
“I left it up and he hit it out,” Maddux said, describing Overbay’s shot over the wall in center.
Overbay, who said he hit a cut fastball, said you have to be ready against Maddux because his control is so good.
“He doesn’t make many mistakes,” Overbay said. “When he does, you have to take advantage of them.”
Maddux also thought his location the rest of the game wasn’t as good as it could have been.
“I thought I got away with a little bit more than I did the last time,” he said. “We needed a win, and we got it.”
The next Hall of Fame pitcher for Maddux to catch on the career wins list is Gaylord Perry with 314.
Shortstop Neifi Perez made a diving stop to snare Miller’s sharply hit grounder behind second base. With his body going toward right field, Perez flipped the ball back to second baseman Todd Walker, who touched second and fired to first to end the threat.
Dempster then retired the side in order in the ninth for his ninth save.
Lee connected on a 1-2 pitch from Ohka for his 19th homer, tying him with Atlanta’s Andruw Jones for the NL lead. Jeromy Burnitz followed with a single before Ramirez hit his 15th homer 430 feet to the seats in left.
Burnitz made it 4-0 with a two-out RBI double in the third.
Weeks made it 4-3 in the sixth with an RBI double. After an intentional walk to Jenkins, Maddux got Miller to ground out to end the threat.
The right-hander gave up five runs—four earned—and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.
In his first start for Milwaukee, Ohka pitched a nine-hit shutout against Tampa Bay. It was his first career shutout and fourth consecutive victory.
Cubs RHP Mark Prior is scheduled to throw a simulated game before Tuesday night’s game against the Brewers. “If he does well, he might be able to rejoin the club without having a minor league rehabilitation stint,” manager Dusty Baker said. … The only active pitcher with more wins than Maddux is Roger Clemens (333).