Cubs 6, Brewers 2


CHICAGO (AP) – New territory for Greg Maddux. At age 40, he’s 5-0 for the first time in his long and distinguished career.

Twice facing bases-loaded jams, Maddux escaped the big inning Friday to win his fifth straight start – every one this season – as the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2.

Maddux earned his 323rd victory, one win shy of tying Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton for 13th place all-time. He gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings and was backed by a homer and a strong defensive play from shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

Maddux worked out of trouble in the opening inning after the Brewers loaded the bases on a walk and singles by Geoff Jenkins and Carlos Lee. Maddux struck out Prince Fielder on three pitches and retired Corey Koskie on a fly ball.

He was sailing until the fifth and had one out before opposing pitcher Dave Bush, 2-for-13 in his career, singled.

Rickie Weeks and J.J. Hardy followed with singles to load the bases before Jenkins delivered a two-run single to cut Chicago’s lead to 3-2. Cedeno then went to the hole and started a tough 6-4-3 double play on Lee to end the rally.

Cedeno hit his first homer, a two-run shot in the fifth, after Juan Pierre’s bunt single. That gave Maddux a three-run cushion again.

Jacque Jones homered in the eighth off Justin Lehr to put the Cubs up 6-2.

Maddux is now 13-3 against the Brewers, representing his best winning percentage against any NL team. Second best? The Cubs. He was 11-3 against Chicago while pitching for the Braves.

Aramis Ramirez, Matt Murton and Jones hit consecutive doubles off Bush (2-2) to start the second and give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Bush, who pitched a four-hit shutout against the Reds in his previous outing, gave up a leadoff double to Pierre in the third. Cedeno got a bunt single and Todd Walker followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.

Bush also lasted six innings, giving up 10 hits and five runs.

Notes: Murton now has seven RBIs in the last four games. His 16 RBIs are two more than he had all last season in 51 games. … The Brewers had a three-game winning streak snapped after having swept the Braves at Miller Park. … Cubs C Michael Barrett, who hasn’t played since jamming the middle finger of his left hand Tuesday night, took batting practice Friday and said he hoped to be back in the starting lineup Saturday. … Both starting pitchers wore No. 31. … Maddux was also 4-0 with the Braves in 2000 and 1999, but he needed six and five starts respectively to get there. … Julia Ruth Stevens and Tom Stevens, the daughter and grandson of Babe Ruth, led the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in the seventh inning.

AP-ES-04-28-06 1705EDT