LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Greg Maddux earned his 330th win to move into
10th place on the career list, which he acknowledged was "kind of
Pitching for a contender puts things in an entirely different
Maddux worked seven solid innings, and the Dodgers beat the
Cincinnati Reds 7-3 Wednesday night to complete one of the most
successful months since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.
Off on Thursday, the Dodgers will begin September with a
three-game lead over San Diego in the NL West -- not bad considering
they were in last place a month ago at this time. That's when they
acquired Maddux from the Chicago Cubs, a team that had no chance to
make the playoffs.
"You try harder," Maddux said when asked about pitching for a
contender. "You're not pitching for yourself. Any time you're not
pitching for yourself, you do better."
The Dodgers went 21-7 in August, matching their highest
single-month victory total since the move west from Brooklyn. Six
of those wins came over Cincinnati for their first season sweep of
the Reds while playing in Los Angeles.
Maddux (12-11) allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings
while walking none, striking out three and throwing 77 pitches
before being relieved by Brett Tomko to start the eighth.
Maddux entered the game tied with Steve Carlton for 10th on the
career wins list.
"I had a chance to watch him pitch a few games," Maddux said.
"I've always admired what he did on the mound."
Maddux, who pitched six hitless innings Aug. 3 in Cincinnati in
his first game with the Dodgers, is 5-0 with a 2.40 ERA against the
Reds this season. He beat them three times while pitching for the
Cubs before being traded to Los Angeles.
"He doesn't have 300 career wins for nothing," Cincinnati's
Ken Griffey Jr. said. "I mean, there's a whole lot of other teams
he's beaten. It just so happens that it's magnified because we're
in a pennant race."
The 40-year-old right-hander also drove in two runs with a
single and a suicide squeeze, and started double plays in the
second and fourth after fielding grounders. Maddux has won 15 Gold
Gloves in his career.
The Reds have lost six straight to fall to .500 for the first
time since they had a 1-1 record. They trail St. Louis by 4½ games
in the NL Central.
"At the beginning of the year, nobody even put us in
contention," Griffey said. "So to be in this position, we've
obviously done some things right. Look at those guys. I mean,
didn't they lose like 11 in a row? And now look at them. So,
obviously, we could turn it around just like they did. And that's
what you've got to look forward to -- getting on the right track."
Maddux brought a .113 batting average to the plate when he lined
a two-out single to center off Aaron Harang (13-10) in the second
to put the Dodgers ahead for good. Russell Martin's RBI single in
the fourth and J.D. Drew's run-scoring triple in the fifth made it
Jason LaRue snapped an 0-for-30 slump by hitting Maddux's first
pitch of the sixth over the left-field fence for his sixth homer.
Wilson Betemit and Martin hit one-out singles in the bottom half
before Maddux laid down a perfect bunt, driving in Betemit. Maddux
received a standing ovation as he left the field.
The Reds made it 4-2 in the seventh on Scott Hatteberg's
run-scoring single. With two outs and two on, pinch-hitter Javier
Valentin hit a liner that appeared headed for right field, but
first baseman Nomar Garciaparra lunged to knock the ball down and
underhanded to Maddux for the out.
An RBI single by Reds pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth in the
ninth completed the scoring.
Harang allowed 10 hits and four runs in six innings. He walked
two and struck out seven.
Griffey singled in the second to extend his hitting streak
to 15 games -- longest by a Cincinnati player this season. ... The
Dodgers recalled LHP Hong-Chih Kuo from Triple-A Las Vegas, making
room by optioning LHP Tim Hamulack to Class-A Vero Beach. ... The
Reds signed RHP Jason Johnson to a minor league contract and
assigned him to Triple-A Louisville. Johnson was 3-12 with a 6.35
ERA in 20 starts for Cleveland and Boston earlier this season.