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Maddux, Braves Beat Giants

One year ago, Greg Maddux won his 15th game and the Atlanta Braves held a 15 ½ game lead in the NL East.

The Braves' scenario is vastly different this year, but Maddux insists he doesn't care. The right-hander won his third straight start Friday night in a 7-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants but Atlanta remained in second place 1 ½ games behind the New York Mets.

Atlanta, which has won its division in every full season since 1991, has not been in a pennant race since 1993, Maddux's first year with the Braves.

"It's more fun, it's more exciting," said Maddux (13-6). "It's still only the beginning of August. But it adds a different flavor."

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Game Summary

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  • Gerald Williams lead off the Braves' first with a single off Shawn Estes. After he hit Bret Boone and walked Chipper Jones, Estes (7-7) gave up a bases-clearing double to Brian Jordan.

    Jose Hernandez later doubled to give Atlanta a 4-0 lead.

    "I didn't want to walk (Jordan), but I still came right down the middle and he jumped all over it," Estes said. "It's frustrating because you can't go back and play it all over again."

    Maddux allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked one. He was helped by a spectacular play from center fielder Andruw Jones, whose running basket catch ith two outs in the sixth robbed Rich Aurilia of an extra-base hit and an RBI.

    Mike Remlinger, who relieved Maddux with two outs in the seventh and runners on first and third, struck out Marvin Benard to keep the Braves' 5-1 lead intact.

    "I wasn't going to get anybody else out," Maddux said. "Why give them a chance?"

    The Braves went up 5-1 in the sixth on an RBI single by Williams, who later added a two-run homer, his 10th of the season, in the eighth.

    Barry Bonds did not take the field in the seventh for the Giants and was listed as day-to-day with back spasms. Bonds, who had four homers and 12 RBIs in his previous 12 games, played in only 55 games this year due to elbow and groin injuries.

    "He's having a tough time walking," said Giants manager Dusty Baker. "Right now we don't have him in (Saturday's lineup)."

    Bonds was in no mood to talk when asked whether he will try to play Sunday.

    "I don't know," he said. "I don't (it's) back spasms. Get out of my face."

    Coming off consecutive eight-inning performances in which he gave up a total of two runs, Estes allowed nine hits, five runs and two walks in six innings.

    "The first inning hurt," said Baker, whose team fell to 7-15 since the All-Star break. "We were behind from the beginning. It's hard to get behind Maddux and come back."

    F.P. Santangelo hit a solo homer, his third, in the ninth off Kevin McGlinchy, and Ramon Martinez added an RBI single to make it 7-3.


  • Charged with an error on J.T. Snow's long fly ball to center in the eighth, Jones said he didn't care. Jones ran the ball down at the wall and nearly caught it, but it bounced off his left wrist. "It doesn't matter either way," Jones said. "We won. That's all I care about."
  • Giants right fielder Ellis Burks, a career .118 hitter against Maddux (2-for-17) who was nursing a sore right knee, did not play.
  • Rookie RHP Joe Nathan, who gave up five runs in a one-inning start Wednesday, was optioned to Triple-A Fresno. He was replaced by utility infielder Edwards Guzman.
  • Charlie Hayes, who replaced Bonds, played left field for the first time since Sept. 17, 1988.

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