CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago Cubs right-hander Greg Maddux became the 13th pitcher in major league history to strike out 3,000 batters when he threw a called third strike past San Francisco’s Omar Vizquel in the third inning Tuesday night.

Maddux got Vizquel on a 2-2 pitch on the inside corner and the crowd at Wrigley Field that had waited out a 2-hour, 43-minute rain delay at the start, erupted. It was the final out of the inning.

Catcher Michael Barrett took the ball and put it in Maddux’s glove as he crossed the third base line on the way to the dugout, and several of his teammates stopped to hug him and shake his hand.

Seconds later Maddux emerged from the dugout for a curtain call to acknowledge the loud cheering and doffed his cap.

Needing two strikeouts to reach 3,000 before the game started, Maddux struck out Giants leadoff hitter Jason Ellison swinging in the first.

Maddux, with 313 wins entering the game, also became just the ninth pitcher to have 3,000 strikeout and 300 victories.

That elite club includes Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Walter Johnson and Phil Niekro. Clemens and Maddux are the only active members.

Maddux got his 300th victory last August against the Giants in San Francisco.

The 39-year-old Maddux won the first of four straight Cy Young Awards in 1992, his final season of a first go-around with the Cubs before leaving as a free agent and signing with the Braves. He spent 11 seasons with Atlanta before returning to Chicago as a free agent last season.

AP-ES-07-26-05 2341EDT


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