CHICAGO (AP) – Dontrelle Willis beat Greg Maddux to tie for the major league lead with his 18th win, driving in the tiebreaking run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the Florida Marlins’ 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Saturday.

Willis (18-8) allowed one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out six, walked one and hit one batter. He matched Chris Carpenter of St. Louis for the big league lead in victories and tied the Marlins’ season record, set by Carl Pavano last year.

Maddux (10-11) pitched a five-hitter for his second complete game of the season, striking out two, walking one and hitting two batters. He has about five starts left as he tries to extend his major league record of 17 consecutive seasons with 15 or more wins.

Chicago’s Nomar Garciaparra was back at third base and did not have a fielding chance. He played the position Friday for the first time since high school and made a throwing error as the replacement for injured regular Aramis Ramirez.

Florida won its third straight. The Marlins began the day 11/2 games behind Philadelphia, the NL wild-card leader.

Guillermo Mota relieved with a runner on second and one out in the eighth, then retired Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett on flyouts. Todd Jones finished for his 31st save in 33 chances, his 21st in a row.

Chicago has lost six of seven.

For the second straight day, Juan Pierre was hit by a pitch leading off the first and stole second. Jeff Conine sacrificed and Miguel Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly.

Jeromy Burnitz hit an RBI double in the fourth following a single by Garciaparra, but the Marlins went ahead for good in the fifth.

Juan Encarnacion doubled leading off, ending a streak of nine consecutive batters retired by Maddux, Damion Easley reached on a bunt single and Matt Treanor walked.

Maddux then hit Willis with an 0-1 pitch.

Notes: Pierre stole two bases for the second straight game. … The Cubs purchased the contract of INF Scott McClain from Triple-A Iowa. McClain, 33, had spent the entire season at Iowa, where he hit .291 with 30 homers and 93 RBIs in 121 games. … Florida recalled RHP John Riedling from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned C Ryan Jorgensen to their top farm team. Riedling joined the Marlins for his third stint this season. He’s 4-1 with a 6.33 ERA in 28 games and 27 innings with Florida. At Albuquerque, he was 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA 14 games.

AP-ES-08-27-05 1603EDT


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