Padres 7, Reds 1
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Greg Maddux’s first complete game in two years was one efficient outing.
Maddux needed only 96 pitches to throw a five-hitter and the San Diego Padres beat Cincinnati 7-1 Monday night to hand the Reds their fourth straight loss.
Maddux retired the first 16 batters he faced, struck out five and walked none in his 109th career complete game.
“You can probably turn back the clock five, 10, 15 years, and you’ve seen games like that out of him before,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “Maybe a little different style, but still the same substance. He was efficient, threw strikes, had them off balance, pitched in, pitched out, pitched up, pitched down. It was an outstanding game.”
“Runs are a beautiful thing,” Maddux said. “We got a lot of runs early, so every pitch, the game is not on the line. That’s a good feeling.”
Maddux (3-2) carried a three-hit shutout into the ninth but Juan Castro singled and advanced to third on Ryan Freel’s base hit. One out later, Ken Griffey Jr. hit a sacrifice fly before Maddux struck out Brandon Phillips to finish off his first complete game since Sept, 27, 2005, for the Chicago Cubs in a 5-3 loss at Pittsburgh.
Maddux also picked up win No. 336, putting him six behind tying Tim Keefe for ninth on the career list.
“He was throwing 83 miles an hour and making guys look silly,” said Cincinnati’s Scott Hatteberg, who was 0-for-4. “He had a lot of movement on the ball. He was hitting corners all day, with the ball going whichever way. It was vintage Maddux.”
San Diego jumped in front early against skidding Cincinnati, which has lost six straight on the road and seven of eight overall.
Matt Belisle (3-3) allowed the first three Padres he faced to reach base. Marcus Giles hit a leadoff double, Jose Cruz Jr. singled and Brian Giles walked to load the bases. Khalil Greene delivered a sacrifice fly with one out, and Cameron followed with a two-run triple into right-center field.
Cruz drove in a run with a groundout in the second. Bard hit RBI singles in the third and fifth, and Kevin Kouzmanoff added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Belisle allowed 10 hits in five innings. He struck two and walked one.
Maddux, who went 5-0 against Cincinnati last season, was perfect until Javier Valentin powered a 1-1 changeup off the base of the outfield wall in deep right-center field for a double. Pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger followed with a single up the middle, and Valentin stopped at third base.
“He didn’t make the pitch he wanted to in that situation,” Valentin said of his hit. “He’s a human being. He can’t always make perfect pitches.”
Maddux then got out of the sixth when Ryan Freel grounded into an inning-ending double play.
“Greg Maddux has done it 330-some times,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “He did it tonight. He located everything well. He made it look easy. I hate it because it was against us. Every pitcher in baseball ought to take note on it.”
The 41-year-old Maddux was remarkably efficient before the threat, requiring only 46 pitches to get through five innings. He also did well at the plate, converting three sacrifices.
“When you have a lead, you can be more aggressive and take some chances,” Maddux said. “The runs allow you to not nibble as much.”
After the game, Cincinnati optioned Keppinger, an infielder, and LHP Bobby Livingston to Triple-A Louisville. The Reds will recall RHP Marcus McBeth from Louisville on Tuesday and purchase the contract of C Chad Moeller from the club. … Phillips extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single in the seventh. His streak is the longest by a Reds batter since Sean Casey hit in 21 straight from July 4-30, 2000. … Maddux’s five wins over Cincinnati in 2006 marked the most he has had against one team in one season.