Series: Game 3 of 4

Chi Cubs leads 2-1 (as of 7/17)

Game 1: Thursday, July 15
Chi Cubs4
Game 2: Friday, July 16
in 10
Chi Cubs2
Game 3: Saturday, July 17
Chi Cubs5
Game 4: Sunday, July 18
Chi Cubs2

Brewers 0

(46-43, 21-23 away)

Cubs 5

(49-41, 27-17 home)

    4:05 PM ET, July 17, 2004

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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    MIL 000000000 0 6 1
    CHC 10010003 - 5 8 0

    W: G. Maddux (8-7)

    L: B. Sheets (9-6)

    Sosa, Alou, Patterson homer in support

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Greg Maddux must like July 17.

    Maddux pitched a six-hitter for his first complete game in exactly one year and his first shutout in precisely three years, earning his 297th win and leading the Chicago Cubs over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 Saturday.

    Maddux took advantage of unseasonably cool weather and a 15 mph wind.

    "As far as a day to pitch on, this was as easy it gets," he said. "It was cool, the wind was blowing in and all the mistakes were hit at guys."

    Maddux (8-7) got his 35th shutout, his first since a six-hitter against Tampa Bay on July 17, 2001. The 38-year-old right-hander pitched his 104th complete game, his first since an eight-hitter against the New York Mets last year -- also on July 17. Maddux retired eight of his first nine batters and struck out the side in the eighth.

    "He said ordinarily he doesn't go that far, but he said he felt great," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "Some days, your limits are higher than others, and today was a high limit day for him."

    Maddux got seven straight groundouts starting in the fifth inning.

    "There was a lot of balls down the middle, but they were hit right at people," Maddux said. "A few of the double-plays today were mistake pitches. Sometimes the ball bounces your way."

    Sammy Sosa hit his 556th homer and Moises Alou also homered for the Cubs.

    Ben Sheets (9-6), who entered with 16 scoreless innings and wins in three straight starts, gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts.

    "All day was bad location," Sheets said. "I got away with plenty of mistakes. You can't throw 10, 20 mistakes and get away with it. Two of them were hit hard. The wind probably kept two more in."

    Sosa hit his 17th homer of the season in the first, a drive against a wind blowing in at 15 mph. Alou added his 20th in the fourth.

    "He must have really crushed that to get it against that wind," Baker said.

    Todd Walker scored on Luis Vizcaino's wild pitch in the eighth, and Corey Patterson hit a two-run homer.

    Game notes

    Milwaukee LF Geoff Jenkins made a leaping catch in the ivy on Derrek Lee's fly ball in the second inning. ... Brewers SS Craig Counsell missed the game with a bruised right knee. ... Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez is expected to be back in the lineup Sunday. He missed 11 straight games with a groin strain. ... Cubs RHP Mark Prior threw for about five minutes on a flat surface before the game. "He threw pretty much without pain," pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "He threw breaking balls, he threw some fastballs with arm acceleration to them, and everything came off pretty well." ... Milwaukee 2B Matt Erickson got his first major league hit in the eighth inning.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press