Maddux loses in return to Atlanta; Lee leaves with injury
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
helped to spoil
's return to Turner Field. But an injury to
is what has the
Coming back to the place where he pitched from 1993-2003 and earned three of his four Cy Young Awards, Maddux allowed five runs in six innings as the
posted a 5-1 victory over the Cubs.
Maddux (7-6) beat the Braves at Wrigley Field in the regular season finale last October 3 despite allowing six runs and seven hits in six innings.
The future Hall of Fame righthander pitched better this time before imploding in the fifth inning when he yielded four runs and four hits. Giles, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, provided the big hit with a two-run double to center after rookie
delivered the go-ahead RBI single.
"I happened to put good wood on it," Giles said. "A pitcher like that doesn't give you too many opportunities. When he does, you have to capitalize on them."
singled home Giles to cap the four-run inning, giving the Braves a 5-1 lead.
"(The fifth inning) didn't end," said Maddux, who saw his career ERA go over 3.00 for the first time since May 28, 1995, a span of more than 2,300 innings. "I felt like I made a bad pitch to Giles. Everything else, you just have to take it."
(1-4) shined in his third career start, allowing just one run and seven hits in seven innings. Injuries to starters
forced Braves manager
to move Colon into the rotation.
"I felt good," Colon said. "I'm just going to go out there and help my team and give them a chance to win."
The loss was the sixth straight for the Cubs, who may have lost Lee for an extended period of time. The All-Star first baseman left the game in the third inning with a strained left shoulder.
Leading the majors with a .377 batting average and ranking second in home runs with 25 and third in the National League with 67 RBI, Lee backed out of the batter's box in apparent pain in the first inning. He remained in the game and struck out, but left in the third.
"His shoulder's been bothering him on and off for a little while," Cubs manager
said. "I think (he hurt it) on a swing. We don't really know (his status). He has to go and see a doctor tomorrow (Wednesday). Hopefully, we'll have some good news."
The 39-year-old Maddux, who signed as a free agent with the Cubs after the 2003 season, received a standing ovation from the crowd of 34,698 when he took the mound in the first inning.
"It's nice not to be forgotten," Maddux said. "I enjoyed it. I just didn't want to do anything (to acknowledge the fans) because it wasn't my park."
The Braves got a run off Maddux in the first inning when Johnson doubled over the head of center fielder
and scored on a single up the middle by Giles.
After yielding a leadoff double to
in the second inning, Maddux retired 10 straight batters, including six strikeouts.
But in the fifth,
reached on an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Colon. Maddux then walked
before Johnson singled to center, scoring Betemit with the go-ahead run. Giles followed with a drive that bounced to the center field wall and came home on Jones' single to center.
Chicago scored its lone run in the second inning when
pulled a fastball over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the season.
But the Cubs squandered numerous chances.
led off the game with back-to-back singles. But with runners on first and third, Lee struck out and
hit into an inning-ending double play.
In the seventh inning, the Cubs loaded the bases on singles by
, Hollandsworth and
. But Colon struck out pinch hitter
and retired Perez on a flyout to left to end the inning.
"We're not getting hits with runners on base," Baker said. "During the stretch that we're in, that's been the story."
The game was delayed nearly two hours due to rain in the bottom of the seventh inning.