Mad Dog Maddux finally gets career win No. 351
Maddux beat Micah Owings and the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 on Monday night, snapping a career-worst, 14-start winless streak and passing Hall of Famer Phil Niekro for 10th place on the all-time strikeout list.
As he walked to the dugout after being removed in the sixth inning, Mad Dog got a nice ovation from the crowd of 29,302. The 42-year-old Maddux returned the gesture by doffing his cap to the crowd.
“I was just letting them know, ‘Hey, I appreciate it,’ ” he said.
Maddux has a no-trade clause, but there’s been speculation he might accept a trade to a West Coast contender. Thursday is the last day to trade a player without securing waivers.
Maddux said he and general manager Kevin Towers spoke earlier this month about the possibility of a trade, but he wouldn’t divulge specifics.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I really don’t,” Maddux said. “I hope I stay. You’d rather stay if you’re welcome. I like it here. The losing part stinks but the baseball is still baseball. It’s still fun to come to the park every day.”
The last-place Padres got home runs from Khalil Greene and rookie Nick Hundley, using two two-out rallies to secure their fourth straight game. The NL West-leading Diamondbacks had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Trevor Hoffman came on with a runner on second base and one out in the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances and his fourth in as many games. He extended his career big league record to 546. Hoffman struck out Chad Tracy and got Mark Reynolds to pop up for the last out.
In his brilliant career, no win was harder for Maddux to get than No. 351.
Maddux, who’s in his 23rd big league season, beat Colorado 3-2 on May 10 to become the ninth big leaguer to win 350 games. He then endured the longest winless streak of his career, going 0-5 with nine no-decisions.
Maddux (4-8) allowed four runs and nine hits, including consecutive singles to open the sixth. He struck out four and walked none.
He also moved past Niekro to take over 10th place on the all-time strikeout list with 3,344. The right-hander struck out Mark Reynolds in the second inning to tie Niekro with 3,342, then moved past him in the third when he struck out Conor Jackson.
“Over the course of 15 starts, there’s been well over 10 that he pitched well enough to win,” manager Bud Black said. “But that happens in this game, and he’d be the first to tell you. But it’s good to see him get a win.”
Owings, meanwhile, is getting a taste of what Maddux has gone through. Owings extended his winless streak to 12 games, including eight starts. He’s 0-7 with a 9.21 ERA in that span. He was making his second start since June 27, having made four relief appearances after straining his gluteus muscle.
Owings (6-9) lasted only three innings, allowing eight runs and six hits.
“He just didn’t have good command,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We just gave up too many runs early in the game—all with two outs.”
The Padres scored three runs in the second and six in the third, all with two outs.
“It’s real frustrating not to be able to get one out,” Owings said. “Whatever I’m going through, it’s going to make me stronger. I felt like I was on the right path but I couldn’t get consistent. It seemed like they capitalized on every mistake.”
That was long enough to give up Greene’s two-run homer in the second inning and Hundley’s three-run shot in the six-run third. It was Greene’s 10th homer and Hundley’s second. Also in the third, Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a two-run single and Jody Gerut an RBI double.
Maddux allowed Chris Young’s two-run homer with two outs in the third. It was Young’s 14th.
Next up on the all-time strikeout list is Walter Johnson at No. 9, with 3,508. … Maddux needs three wins to tie Roger Clemens for eighth place on the all-time list with 354. … Maddux improved to 3-11 in his career against Arizona. The Diamondbacks are the only team Maddux doesn’t have a winning record against. … San Diego right-hander Chris Young is scheduled to start Tuesday night’s game, his first big league action since getting hit in the face by Albert Pujols’ line drive on May 21, breaking his nose and fracturing his skull.
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