Terrmel Sledge homered for the Expos, who won twice in the
three-games series and dropped the Cubs a half-game behind Houston
in the NL wild-card race. Chicago has lost six of nine.
Downs (3-5) struck out four and walked one in his first complete
game. He came up through the Chicago organization and pitched
briefly for the Cubs in 2000 before being traded to Montreal in
2000 for Rondell White.
Downs retired 15 straight after giving up a single to Moises
Alou in the second. He walked Derrek Lee in the seventh, but got
Nomar Garciaparra to hit into his second double-play of the night
to end the inning.
Maddux (13-9) allowed five runs -- two earned -- and five hits in
7 2-3 innings. He struck out seven and allowed an intentional walk,
remaining at 302 career victories.
The Expos took advantage of a fielding blunder by Sammy Sosa in
the third inning and bad baserunning by Alou in the second inning.
Maicer Izturis led off the third with a double over Sosa, who
broke the wrong way on the ball. Sosa was back in right field after
missing two games with bursitis in his right hip. Izturis moved to
third on Downs' sacrifice and scored on Brad Wilkerson's sacrifice
The Expos padded their lead in the eighth with five runs and two
more Cubs errors. Jamey Carroll led off with a single, Izturis
reached safely on a bunt-single. Downs moved the runners over with
a bunt and Maddux intentionally walked Wilkerson.
Chavez followed with a grounder to first baseman Derrek Lee, who
couldn't handle it -- allowing Carroll to score, and Izturis came
around from second to also score. Catcher Paul Bako overthrew
second base, allowing Wilkerson to score. After Rivera's groundout,
Mike Remlinger relieved Maddux. With two outs, Sledge homered to
right, giving the Expos a 6-0 lead.
Maddux was impressive, but didn't have any luck on his side. He
retired 12 in a row after giving up a sacrifice fly to Wilkerson in
the third. Montreal didn't their next hit until Brendan Harris
singled with two outs in the seventh.
Expos RHP Rocky Biddle had an MRI on his right shoulder
after complaining of a burning sensation Monday. The results of the
MRI were inconclusive and Biddle will remain out as he undergoes
more tests. ... Cubs RHP Matt Clement left in the third inning of
his start Tuesday because of muscle stiffness and discomfort in his
back and neck. Chicago team doctors didn't find anything seriously
wrong with Clement on Wednesday. Cubs manager Dusty Baker is
uncertain whether Clement will make his next start.