In his last outing, Greg Maddux continued a lengthy streak in which he hasn’t allowed a walk—just not quite the way he wanted to.
The 345-game winner looks to bounce back from his shortest outing of the season when the NL wild card-leading San Diego Padres continue their four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Maddux (12-10, 3.91 ERA) has not issued a walk in 57 2-3 innings, the second-longest run of his career to his NL-record 72 1-3 consecutive innings in 2001. That streak ended when he issued an intentional pass to Steve Finley, then with Arizona.
The streak was the last thing on Maddux’s mind after his outing Thursday. He was tagged for six runs and 10 hits over 3 1-3 innings in a 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers after having gone 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his previous six starts.
“They hit a few balls pretty good and a few balls that found some holes,” Maddux said. “When you combine it, it looks bad. But you kind of let it go and tip your hat. They were better tonight.”
Maddux is pitching at Petco Park for the first time since Aug. 29, and he’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last five outings there.
The four-time NL Cy Young Award winner is 25-17 with a 2.60 ERA in his career against the Pirates, but just 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA in his last four starts versus them. He pitched well on May 31 at Pittsburgh, allowing two runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 4-2, 11-inning victory.
San Diego (82-67) has received plenty of outstanding pitching performances during its current four-game winning streak. The Padres have pulled within one game of first-place Arizona in the NL West race, and also lead Philadelphia by 1 1/2 games for the NL wild card.
Rookie Jack Cassel was the latest Padre to turn in a terrific start on Monday in a 3-0 series-opening win. He scattered eight hits over six innings for San Diego, which has seen its starters give up one run over 19 1-3 innings in its last three games.
Cassel and three relievers combined on the Padres’ 20th shutout, tops in the majors and a new franchise record. The Padres’ 82nd win also guaranteed their fourth straight winning season and just the 14th time in the franchise’s 39-year history.
San Diego third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff went just 1-for-4 on Monday, but is hitting .536 (15-for-28) with seven RBIs over his last nine games.
Although Pittsburgh (66-84) has one of the worst records in the NL, it has scored a league-leading 262 runs since Aug. 1. The Pirates, however, were shut out for only the second time in that span Monday.
Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny (14-7, 3.45) is 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA over his last five starts. He pitched well on Wednesday against Milwaukee, allowing two runs over 6 2-3 innings but didn’t get a decision in a 7-4 victory.
The left-hander is excited about the chance of facing a future Hall of Famer.
“It will be fun to face Greg Maddux, but I’m just going to try to do my part and help us win,” Gorzelanny told the Pirates’ official Web site. “I’m not going to be intimidated by facing one of the better pitchers in the game ever. I just want to go out there and do my job and win.
Gorzelanny has been very successful on the road, going 8-3 with a 3.51 ERA. He won his lone start this season against the Padres by yielding one run over seven innings in a 4-1 victory on May 29 at Pittsburgh.