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Maddux, Braves Shutdown Sox


For the first time since 1993, Greg Maddux won't be a member of the NL All-Star team. The way he's pitched lately, he should be.

The seven-time All-Star, backed by a pair of Ryan Klesko homers, won his fourth straight decision Sunday to lead the Atlanta Braves over the Boston Red Sox 8-1.

"I've had some good results lately," Maddux said. "I still have some things I want to do better."

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Game Summary

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  • His wants to improve his movement and location, but both couldn't have been much better than they were Sunday.

    Maddux (10-5) allowed one run and six hits in eight innings, struck out two and walked one. In his last six starts, the four-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed four earned runs in 41 2-3 innings (a 0.80 ERA), dropping his season ERA from 4.64 to 3.40.

    "Maddux was awesome," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Nothing was hit hard. He's back to his old self. Actually, he's been back for quite a while now."

    Starting on three days' rest for the first time since beating Toronto on June 17, 1997, Maddux threw 58 of 84 pitches for strikes. He allowed his only run in the first, when Darren Lewis singled, stole second, took third on John Valentin's single and scored on Brian Daubach's grounder.

    "It was my first experience with him," said Boston's Louis Merloni, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and double-play grounder. "You can see why he's so tough. He makes you chase pitches he wants you to hit."

    Klesko raised his home run total to 13 with a solo shot in the first off Jin Ho Cho (2-2) and a three-run drive in the eighth off Tim Wakefield.

    Cho gave up four runs and five hits in four innings.

    Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, voted to start Tuesday's All-Star game at Fenway Park, missed his ninth straight game because of a strained groin but said he'll be able to play Tuesday.

    Atlanta's Walt Weiss, who had been in a 2-for-29 (.069) slump since coing off the disabled list July 1, went 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs and one RBI. Chipper Jones had a pair of sacrifice flies.

    Atlanta tied it in the first when Weiss doubled and scored on Jones' first sacrifice fly, then took a 3-1 lead in the third on Eddie Perez's double, Weiss' RBI single and another sacrifice fly by Jones.

    Brian Jordan's run-scoring single in the fifth made it 5-1.

    Notes:

  • Atlanta ended the first half 55-34.
  • John Hudek pitched a hitless ninth.
  • Braves right-hander John Smoltz (8-3), placed on the 15-day DL Monday for the second time this season, will pitch an inning on a rehab assignment on Thursday with Double-A Greenville at Jacksonville, Fla. Smoltz, who has had right elbow pain, expects to throw another inning or two on Saturday. If all goes well, he could be activated July 21 at Florida.
  • The Red Sox activated third baseman John Valentin on Sunday and optioned infielder Chad Fonville to Triple-A Pawtucket.
  • Maddux is 87-2 since the '91 All-Star break when five or more runs are scored for him.
  • Boston All-Star second baseman Jose Offerman went 0-for-4 and is hitless in 13 at-bats. Offerman also is in a 2-for-38 (.053) slump.
  • Jones, who went 0-for-0 with the sacrifice flies and two walks, saw his 10-game hitting streak end.

    ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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