CHICAGO (AP) -- Greg Maddux's first two pitches of the fifth
inning went flying over the left-center field wall. The second was
almost like an instant replay.
Javier Valentin and Wily Mo Pena connected seconds apart, giving
Aaron Harang the lead as the Cincinnati Reds went on to beat the
Chicago Cubs 5-2 Monday night."I know Maddux pretty well. I know when he's away and when he
comes back inside," said Pena, who also hit a three-run homer in
the ninth off Sergio Mitre to finish with four RBI.Harang (10-12) became the first Reds' pitcher to win 10 games,
running his record against the Cubs this season to 3-0 by allowing
two runs and eight hits in 8 1/3 innings."The fans are enthusiastic, so it's fun to come here and play
well. The Cubs have hit me before, but tonight I threw strikes and
the guys played defense behind me," Harang said. "And he (Pena)
has hit the ball hard all year. I was grateful he did it again."Harang left after giving up a double to Nomar Garciaparra and
RBI single to Jose Macias that made it 5-2 in the ninth. David
Weathers got two outs for his 13th save in 16 chances.Maddux (12-12) had a 1-0 lead and had given up just three
singles before Valentin and Pena quickly went back-to-back."I got the ball up on one and missed location on another,"
Maddux said.Valentin has four homers off Maddux in 10 career at-bats against
the 317-game winner."It's no secret. I just see the ball good against him,"
Valentin said. "I'm patient against him and it has paid off."The loss puts Maddux's record streak of 17 seasons with at least
15 wins in jeopardy. The 39-year-old right-hander will get at least
three more starts and maybe four. He lasted seven innings Monday
night, giving up five hits and the two runs."Sometimes you get outpitched," Maddux said. "You can't
control the outcome of the game. You can control what you put into
it and that's what I'm going to do, continue to do that until the
season is over."With just 18 games left in the season and two off-days, Maddux
might get the extra fourth start if another pitcher is bumped, a
scenario that didn't seem to excite him."As far as I'm concerned, I've had my chances and I still have
a chance, too," Maddux said of the streak. "I mean you got to
play the game the right way. I just want to get ready and pitch in
five days and do what I can to throw a good game."After returning home from an 8-2 trip that had them within one
victory of reaching .500 for the first time in five weeks, the Cubs
took the 1-0 lead on Matt Murton's homer off Harang in the third.
But that was all they could muster until the ninth.Harang, a 6-foot-7 right-hander, did not issue a walk and struck
out five, all after the fifth inning."He made good adjustments after the first two innings,"
Valentin said. "When he gives us more than six innings, we have a
great shot at winning."
Cubs rookie SS Ronny Cedeno is out for the rest of the
season with a broken bone in his left hand, an injury sustained
Saturday when he was hit by a pitch from San Francisco's Brad
Hennessey. "I can't do anything, that's part of the game," said
Cedeno, who plans on playing winter baseball. ... Chicago purchased
the contract of INF Ryan Theriot from Double-A West Tenn. Cedeno
batted .300 in 40 games in three different stints with the Cubs
this season. ... Reds CF Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the lineup for
a seventh straight game with a strained right foot. ... Valentin
and Pena's homers marked the 10th time this season the Reds have
connected back-to-back. Pena's two homers gave him 18 for the
season. It was his fourth two-homer game of the season and seventh
of his career.