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Maddux surrenders six earned runs in first

9/13/2002

MIAMI (AP) -- Greg Maddux wanted to bat when he was pulled for a
pinch-hitter in the third inning against the Florida Marlins.

"When you give up as many hits as I did, you'd like to at least
get a chance to get a hit yourself,'' he said.

Maddux struggled through the worst first inning of his career,
giving up six runs, and Florida beat the Atlanta Braves 13-3
Friday.

The score was 7-0 when Maddux (13-6) reluctantly called it an
early night. He threw just 41 pitches and gave up seven hits, three
for extra bases, in two innings.

"I threw some pretty good pitches that got hit, and I threw
some bad pitches that got hit harder,'' Maddux said. "I felt fine.
I just couldn't get them to hit it at anybody.''

Six of the runs against Maddux scored with two out, including
Andy Fox's three-run homer to cap the first.

"We're in as much shock as he is,'' Fox said.

Maddux's ERA, the lowest in the National League entering the
game, rose from to 2.42 to 2.74. That left Randy Johnson of Arizona
in the lead at 2.53.

Preston Wilson drove in four runs, and he and Ramon Castro hit
back-to-back homers off Trey Hodges. Every player in the Marlins'
lineup had a hit by the fourth inning, and they totaled 16 hits.

The game was the worst this season for the Braves' pitching
staff, which has the lowest ERA in the major leagues. Thirteen runs
were the most scored against the Braves since they lost 13-6 at
Arizona on April 26, 2001.

Florida, battling for second place in the NL East, still trails
division champion Atlanta by 21 games.

The game drew a crowd of 10,436 on A.J. Burnett bobblehead doll
night, meaning 4,564 dolls went unclaimed.

Florida's Kevin Millar drove in a run with a single to extend
his career-high hitting streak to 19 games, the longest active
streak in the majors. Luis Castillo went 4-for-4 with a walk and
scored three times.

Carl Pavano (5-10), pitching in his 100th major league game,
allowed three hits and three runs in six innings. He had been 0-1
with a 6.16 ERA in six previous games against the Braves.

"When we got those runs early, it helped me relax and make good
pitches,'' Pavano said.

Javier Lopez hit a two-run pinch-hit homer for Atlanta. Vinny
Castilla also homered, his first since June 11, to end the longest
drought of his career at 257 at-bats.

Maddux had allowed only one run in his previous 22 innings,
covering three starts, but he struggled from the beginning against
Florida.

"You never expect Greg to give up any runs,'' Braves manager
Bobby Cox said. "He just got some balls in the middle of the
plate.''

Castillo, a lifetime .120 hitter against Maddux, led off the
first with a bloop double and scored on Millar's single. Mike
Lowell also singled, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, and
with two out Wilson hit a 400-foot, two-run double.

Maddux intentionally walked right-handed batter Castro to face
lefty Fox. The strategy backfired when Fox hit a three-run homer,
his fourth.

Cox said Maddux felt more comfortable pitching to Fox.

"The only thing wrong with walking Castro,'' Maddux said, "was
throwing the next guy a pitch down the middle.''

Lowell drove in a run with a two-out single in the second to
make it 7-0. That improved his average against Maddux to .371
(13-for-35).

Maddux's outing was his shortest since April 17, when he
departed after one inning against the New York Mets because of a
sore back. He endured the worst inning of his career April 25,
allowing eight runs in the fifth to Arizona.

Maddux will likely make his next start on the three days' rest
Tuesday against Philadelphia, Cox said.

Game notes
Maddux has given up five runs in the first inning five
times, most recently June 10 at Minnesota. ... Maddux fell to 17-5
against Florida, and his ERA against the Marlins climbed from 2.21
to 2.82. ... Braves pitcher Jason Marquis, batting .147, pinch-hit
in the fifth and grounded out. ... Florida first baseman Derrek Lee
has started 146 games and played in all 147. ... Marlins LHP Nate
Robertson is bothered by a tender pitching shoulder. ... The
Marlins have won five in a row on Friday the 13th. ... Millar is
batting .442 (34-for-77) during his streak.