Maddux combined with two relievers on a four-hitter and Kevin Kouzmanoff broke a tie with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to lift the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory, snapping the Cubs’ nine-game winning streak.
Although Maddux did not get the win, the four-time NL Cy Young Award winner shut down the highest scoring team in the majors.
“Greg pitched outstanding,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “We’ve seen him throw a lot of great games and that was another.”
Maddux, ninth on the all-time wins list with 350, allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He threw just 69 pitches—47 strikes—before he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh. The right-hander faced only three batters in six of his seven innings.
“It was a good, exciting game and it didn’t go extra innings,” Maddux quipped about San Diego’s shortest game of the season at 2 hours, 16 minutes.
The Padres have played seven games that have gone extra innings, including a 22-inning loss against Colorado on April 17 and an 18-inning win over Cincinnati on May 25.
Maddux has not won in five starts since getting his 350th victory on May 10 against Colorado. He has one loss and four straight no-decisions since. The Padres have won each of Maddux’s last four starts.
“It’s a lot of fun being back there when he is working like that, even if he doesn’t get the win,” Padres catcher Michael Barrett said. “He’s the first one to tell you that he doesn’t care about the win for him, he cares about the team winning.”
Chicago’s longest winning streak in seven seasons came to an abrupt end as the Cubs could muster virtually no offense. Chicago was held to one run or less for just the fourth time this season.
“I thought if we could hold them, we’d punch a run across,” Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. “Maddux has won a lot of ballgames, Bell’s a good reliever and Hoffman is a Hall of Fame closer. Give them credit.”
Brian Giles led off the eighth with his second double of the game off Ted Lilly (5-5). After he moved to third on a flyout, Kouzmanoff hit his sacrifice fly to center off Carlos Marmol to make it 2-1.
“Obviously, we want to keep the streak going, but we did win the series,” said Chicago’s Derrek Lee.
The Cubs’ winning streak was its longest since a 12-game winning streak from May 19 through June 2, 2001. Despite the loss, Chicago (38-22) still has the best record in the majors.
Lilly allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. The left-hander struck out eight and walked two.
“I made enough mistakes and got out of some jams,” Lilly said. “It was one of those things where eventually you can only escape so many times.”
To measure Maddux’s success against the Cubs, consider that Chicago had 52 runs and 95 hits during the winning streak. In the first two games against San Diego, the Cubs combined for 16 runs and 25 hits.
“They have a good lineup,” Maddux said. “They missed a couple of pitches that they normally hit. Sometimes you catch a break.”
This was the first time in 26 games Chicago did not have a lead. The last time the Cubs failed to lead in a game was on May 7 in a 9-0 loss at Cincinnati.
Scott Hairston led off the Padres’ first with his eighth homer.
In Tuesday night’s 9-6 win over the Padres, the Cubs hit three home runs and stole six bases for just the fourth time in 100 years, and the first since 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Hairston hit San Diego’s first leadoff home run of the season. … Fourteen of the Cubs’ last 18 games have been decided by two runs or less. … Chicago lost for just the third time in 19 games against NL West.