Mitre singled off Maddux but was pounded in his major league debut as the
suffered an 8-4 loss to the
"It was very exciting for me," Mitre said. "I was looking forward to this when I got called up. It's definitely an experience that I am going to take with me for a long time."
Mitre made the jump from Class AA West Tennessee of the Southern League, where he was 6-7 with a 3.79 ERA in 18 starts. The 22-year-old righthander had a large, loud family contingent in a section behind home plate.
That didn't help against the Braves, the top hitting team in the National League. Mitre was roughed up for eight runs, 10 hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings, failing to get out of any inning without allowing a run.
"Obviously, it was a tough night," Mitre said. "I'd like to do a lot better. They're the hottest team in the league. I kept the ball up. Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes and they don't miss them."
"It was a tough night for him, a tough assignment," Cubs manager
said. "He gave it his best. His balls found a lot of holes. They can hit. Once they get hitting, they can roll a lot of hits in succession."
The highlight of Mitre's night came in the third, when he singled off Maddux to start a two-run rally that cut the deficit to 3-2.
"It's exciting. He's a Hall-of-Famer in a couple of years," Mitre said. "I was swinging at anything close and I just happened to get a base hit."
But in the bottom half, Mitre gave up five straight hits as the Braves scored four runs.
Maddux (9-8) was sharp in notching his 282nd career win. The four-time Cy Young Award winner gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out two without a walk as he moved above .500 for the first time this season.
"It's about time," said Maddux, who improved to 11-3 against his former team. "A long way to go. I have to keep it going."
"Maddux was really on top of his game," Braves manager
said. "I thought he really threw the ball well. He gave us innings. He's starting to throw the ball really well. He looked good tonight. The threw good. He was almost flawless."
Since the 1991 All-Star break, Maddux is 133-4 when receiving five or more runs. Ironically, he came into this start having received the second-lowest run support in the National League.
"I got a lot of runs. It makes it a lot easier," Maddux said. "The offense has been very good. When you get four or five runs, it makes it easier to pitch. It changes a lot when a team puts up a lot of runs."
mopped up for the Braves, who have won six of seven and 14 of 16. Every Atlanta starter had a hit except Maddux, who drove in a run.
After consecutive 20-hit games, the offensive problems resurfaced for the Cubs, who did something about it. During the game, they acquired third baseman
and center fielder
in a trade with the
"It's something that we have been looking for a long time," Cubs slugger
said. "This was the time for the team to make a move. We got a third baseman and center fielder that was going to help the ball club. I think it's awesome. We have a chance to win the division. It's going to be OK."
"I didn't think we absolutely had to make the move," ace righthander
said. "We've been swinging the bats well the last few games. It makes the team a better ballteam. To have (Ramirez) on your side and to have Lofton, it makes us a better team."
to open the second before
launched his 16th homer deep into the left-center field seats to make it 3-0.
In the top of the third, Mitre singled and went to third on a double by
, who strained his left hamstring on the play and left the game.
plated a run with a bloop double and Sosa pushed home another with a groundout.
opened the bottom half with singles and
and Fick followed with RBI hits for a 6-2 lead. Later in the frame, Maddux got a measure of revenge against Mitre with a sacrifice fly.
Doubles by Giles and
in the fourth ended Mitre's night.
"I didn't want to keep the kid in too long and let him get beat up," Baker said.
Atlanta improved to 17-6 against the National League Central Division.