Originally created 09/22/03

Braves blank Marlins



ATLANTA -- Greg Maddux became the first pitcher in major league history to win at least 15 games in 16 consecutive seasons, leading the Atlanta Braves over the Florida Marlins 8-0 Sunday.

Maddux (15-11) had shared the record of winning 15 or more games in 15 straight seasons with Cy Young.

"Sometimes, you're pretty fortunate on the mound," Maddux said.

The Marlins led the NL wild-card race by one-half game over Philadelphia entering Sunday's game. The Phillies were at home against Cincinnati.

Maddux pitched five scoreless innings and allowed only one hit in his 288th career victory. He tied Tommy John for 22nd place on the all-time win list.

Maddux was struck on the right ankle by a hard grounder off the bat of Juan Pierre for the final out of the third inning. The right-hander had the ankle taped in the bottom of the inning, then went out and retired the Marlins in order in the fourth and fifth innings.

The NL East champion Braves scored four times in the fifth for a 6-0 lead and Maddux left for a pinch-hitter.

Maddux had a bruise and X-rays were negative. He was expected to make his next start.

"I'll be OK," Maddux said. "It was kind of hard to keep my weight on it. It was a little uncomfortable."

Maddux gave up just a leadoff single to Derrek Lee in the second inning. He didn't strike out any or give up a walk and threw only 43 pitches, 29 strikes.

Chipper Jones drove in four runs for the Braves with a two-run homer - his 27th - a sacrifice fly and RBI single.

The Marlins wound up with four hits, getting two off Darren Holmes in the seventh. Lee had three hits.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jones' sacrifice fly and made it 2-0 in the third on his run-scoring single.

Atlanta broke it open with the four-run fifth against Carl Pavano (11-13). Javy Lopez hit a two-run double and Rafael Furcal drew a bases-loaded walk.

Pavano went 4 1-3 innings. He allowed seven hits and six runs.

It was Maddux' third try at No. 15. In his last start Tuesday night in Montreal, he left with a 4-1 lead after seven innings, but he got a no-decision when the bullpen blew the lead and the Braves lost 5-4 in 11 innings.

In his previous start against Philadelphia on Sept. 11, Maddux gave up 12 hits and seven runs in 3 2-3 innings in an 8-3 loss.

Notes: Braves 3B Vinny Castilla left the game in the sixth inning when a grounder by Alex Gonzalez struck the middle finger of his right hand. Castilla threw out Gonzalez. X-rays were negative and he was listed as day-to-day. ... Prior to Sunday, Maddux was 1-2 with an 11.25 ERA in 12 innings against the Marlins this season.