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Maddux Notches Another Shutout

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The Atlanta Braves were in desperate need of a win, so they called on Greg Maddux.

No problem.

Maddux pitched a four-hitter for his second consecutive shutout as the Braves blanked the Florida Marlins 4-0 Wednesday night.

The Braves, who snapped a three-game losing skid, maintained a two-game lead over New York in the NL East. The Mets beat Milwaukee 4-1 in 10 innings.

"It was the Greg Maddux Show again tonight," admiring Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

"That was vintage Maddux," Marlins manager John Boles said. "That's illegal, that kind of stuff."

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Game Summary

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  • Maddux (17-8) pitched his third shutout of the season in running his scoreless streak to 22 2-3 innings for his third straight win. It was his fifth complete game and 99th of his career.

    "It's just one of those things where everything is going right," Maddux said. "It's always nice to go out and finish a game you start. That's what you try to do most of the time, but you need a lot of help and the guys played pretty good defense behind me."

    The four-time NL Cy Young winner faced only 29 batters, giving up singles to Henry Rodriguez in the fifth, Luis Castillo in the sixth and pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay in the ninth, and a double by Mike Lowell in the eighth. He also hit Mike Redmond wih a pitch in the third. Rodriguez and Kotsay were erased on double plays and Castillo was caught stealing.

    The double play Derrek Lee hit into in the fifth might have been the key to the game, Maddux said.

    Rodriguez got the one-out hit and Lee drilled a grounder up the middle, but shortstop Rafael Furcal dove, knocked it down, then shoveled it to second baseman Keith Lockhart, who turned the double play on a bang-bang play at first.

    "That was a great play," Maddux said. "Usually that ball is in the outfield and they've got first and third and will probably score a run and easily be set up for a big inning."

    Maddux threw 89 pitches, 60 for strikes, got 12 groundball outs, struck out four and walked none.

    The Braves scored a run in the second when Chipper Jones broke an 0-for-13 slump with a single, took second on a walk to Andres Galarraga, third on a fly to right by Brian Jordan, and scored on Keith Lockhart's sacrifice fly off Ryan Dempster (12-10).

    Dempster allowed four runs, eight hits and six walks, striking out six in 6 2-3 innings.

    "I felt good, but the way he (Maddux) threw, it didn't matter," Dempster said.

    Atlanta made it 2-0 in the sixth on a two-out RBI double by Furcal, following singles by Lockhart and Maddux.

    The Braves broke it open in the seventh on a two-out, two-run, bloop double to center by Jordan. Reggie Sanders led off the inning with a double and Andruw Jones walked. Dempster, however, retired Chipper Jones on a foul pop and struck out Galarraga for the third time, before Jordan delivered.

    Notes

  • Only three umpires worked the game when Steve Rippley became ill shortly before game time and was unavailable.
  • Atlanta stole a season-high six bases, its most since stealing seven against Cincinnati on Aug. 23, 1999.
  • The Sept. 20 game at Turner Field between the Mets and Braes has been moved up one-half hour to a 7:10 p.m. EDT start and will be televised by ESPN.
  • Reliever Stan Belinda asked for and was granted his release from the Braves on Tuesday. The right-hander, signed as a free agent on July 29, was 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA in 10 games with Atlanta.
  • Castillo's sixth-inning single was his 144th of the season, breaking the Marlins' record of 143 set by Edgar Renteria in 1997. Castillo has 163 hits.

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