Maddux tosses second straight complete game

CHICAGO (AP) -- Efficient and economical as always, Greg Maddux
mowed down the Cincinnati Reds and moved closer to one of
baseball's most cherished milestones.

Maddux needed just 92 pitches over 2 hours, 15 minutes to throw
a four-hit, complete game for his 298th career win Thursday, and
his Chicago teammates hit four homers in the Cubs' 13-2 win.

"Runs, man. Runs are a a beautiful thing," Maddux said in his
typically understated fashion.

"When you get a lead like that, it changes the way the game is

Maddux (9-7) pitched his second straight complete game and 105th
of his career. It was the first time he pitched back-to-back
complete games since Sept. 7 and 13, 2000, when he went the
distance against the Diamondbacks and Marlins while with the

"I've never really been that big on complete games. When you
have as many runs and you are playing as many days as we are in a
row, it's important to pitch that extra inning," he said.

Moises Alou, like Maddux a 38-year-old, homered twice, Mark
Grudzielanek had a thee-run shot and Aramis Ramierz added a grand

"I think we have good genes. With Maddux, there are a couple of
pitchers in his family and in the Alou family there a couple of
outfielders," Alou said.

"It's a matter of having some pride. You try to play at a top
level. It's something Maddux and I have been doing throughout our

Maddux walked none and struck out six. The only hitter to give
him much trouble was Reds catcher Javier Valentin, who entered the
game batting .182 but homered twice, solo shots in the third and
fifth innings.

"That was my first time. I had seen him on TV," Valentin said
of Maddux. "He's not a power guy, he's not going to strike you
out. You have to be patient and I was able to hit the ball hard

But Valentin was impressed with what he saw.

"We have guys who hit it out of the park and that's why he kept
the ball down and in. That's how he pitches, especially in this
slow grass. And he made some pretty good plays on the mound --
that's why he's still in the game," Valentin said.

Alou hit a solo homer in the second and a two-run shot in the
third, giving him 24 for the season and five in his last nine
games. Grudzielanek had a three-run homer in the fourth off Cory
Lidle, and Ramirez hit a grand slam off Ryan Wagner to make it 12-2
in the sixth.

Lidle (6-8) allowed 10 hits and eighth runs in 4 1-3 innings and
left after yielding RBI doubles to Derrek Lee and Alex Gonzalez in
the fifth.

Sammy Sosa had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 13-2.

Maddux, who shut the Brewers out in his previous start, will get
a chance for No. 299 next week at Miller Park. If he wins there,
his first shot at 300 would probably be Aug. 1 at Wrigley Field
against the Phillies.

Maddux was not ready to talk about the milestone, saying there
are more important issues.

"Really, it's not about me. It's about trying to get to the
postseason and having another shot at getting a ring," he said.

"Whatever I do doesn't matter if we do well as a team. I have a
World Series ring and that's pretty special. That's the nicest
thing I've ever received in baseball. And I want to get a chance at
another one."

Game notes
Lidle and both benches were warned in the fifth inning
after he threw a curveball that didn't break and it went over
Alou's head at the plate. But when Ryan Wagner hit Lee with a high
pitch in the sixth to load the bases, he remained in the game and
Ramirez followed with his fourth career grand slam ... Manager
Dusty Baker said a decision on whether Mark Prior makes his Sunday
start will probably be made in Philadelphia on Friday after he
throws in the bullpen. Prior missed his previous start with a
tender elbow but has had no problems after throwing a five-inning
simulated game Tuesday. ... Alou had the 25th multihomer game of
his career. Valentin's was his first. ... Maddux has now
surrendered 22 homers, just two fewer than all last season.