Maddux allows just four hits over eight innings

MIAMI (AP) -- Derrek Lee and Greg Maddux sent the Chicago Cubs into the All-Star break on a high note.

Lee hit his 27th homer and drove in four runs, Maddux allowed four hits in eight innings and the Cubs beat the Florida Marlins 9-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Chicago had lost eight in a row entering the series before getting its third series sweep of the season. The Cubs' last sweep was May 29-June 1, when they took three in a row in Los Angeles during their season-high seven-game winning streak.

"We needed it," Maddux said. "It was pretty embarrassing in Atlanta and to win three in a row here, it's going to make our vacation a lot better, that's for sure."

Lee hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth and homered for the second straight game after missing three straight starts with left shoulder irritation.

"This is a tough park to hit home runs," said Lee, who played for Florida from 1998 to 2003. "It's definitely a pitcher's park. Wrigley is definitely more hitter-friendly, but you also get better with age and experience. It's been a good year."

He added an RBI double in the ninth for his 72nd RBI.

"I'm glad that he came back and didn't feel anything and had a great series," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

Maddux (8-6) bounced back from a pair of losses with the best of his 19 starts this season. He had allowed 11 runs over 11 innings in his last two outings and had not gone beyond six innings in his previous eight starts.

The four-time Cy Young winner had three strikeouts and no walks.

Maddux allowed a season-high seven runs in 3 2/3 innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- in a 15-5 loss to the Marlins on June 15, his first appearance against Florida in a Cubs uniform.

"That's what you like about him," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "We can hammer him like we did in Chicago and then come back and basically throw a shutout against us. And that's what our hitters are going to have to do, make adjustments."

Al Leiter (3-7) allowed six hits and six runs -- five earned -- in three-plus innings. Carlos Delgado hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his team-leading 18th, off Glendon Rusch.

Leiter made his first relief appearance since 1993 in his last outing Tuesday, ending a streak of 338 starts. McKeon has not determined whether or not he will skip the veteran left-hander's turn in the rotation after the break.

"I do feel like I've been on a bit of a tryout at times, but I haven't been thinking about that cognizantly when I'm out there," Leiter said.

The Cubs scored three in the third on Jeromy Burnitz's bases-loaded walk and Neifi Perez's two-run single.

Chicago added three more in the fourth. Maddux led off with the first of his two singles and Jerry Hairston walked. Todd Walker hit a grounder which struck first baseman Delgado's glove and went through his legs to load the bases.

Lee hit a sacrifice fly off rookie Chris Resop to make it 4-0 and Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run double to increase the Cubs' lead to 6-0.

Lee connected for a two-run shot in the sixth off Nate Bump to make it 8-0 and drew cheers from the crowd of 20,267 when he hit a run-scoring double to the left field corner in the ninth off Randy Messenger.

Game notes
Cubs rookie Adam Greenberg was unavailable for the game after being hit in the head by the first pitch he faced in the major leagues in the ninth inning of Saturday's 8-2 loss. Greenberg
had a precautionary CT scan that did not reveal any significant injury. ... Maddux, who began his career with Chicago from 1986-92, didn't face Florida last season. Before that, he had been with Atlanta since 1993, the Marlins' inaugural season. ... Marlins right fielder Juan Encarnacion did not start for the second straight game after being hit by a pitch Friday on the left forearm, just above the wrist.