CHICAGO (AP) -- Pitch by pitch, Greg Maddux delivered the
message: At 39, he's still effective.
He hit all corners, overcame one rough inning and helped the
Chicago Cubs beat the White Sox 6-2 Saturday to end their crosstown
rival's eight-game winning streak.
"When he gets a feel for his pitches, he's awesome," Todd
Maddux (7-4) scattered five hits in six innings, struck out six
and did not walk a batter. With his 312th win, he moved past Tom
Seaver into sole possession of 17th place on the career list.
"We've got a lot of time left," Maddux said. "We're over
.500. We need to get 20 games over to have a legitimate shot at the
postseason. ... The Astros came from a lot further back last
Jose Contreras (3-4) allowed six runs, eight hits, two wild
pitches and a career-high three hit batters in 6 1/3 innings.
Ramirez, who was 2-for-3, gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead in the first
with his slam, and Derrek Lee, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Walker added
two hits apiece.
After Corey Patterson led off the game with a bunt single,
Contreras hit Neifi Perez and, with one out, threw a wild pitch
before a walk to Jeromy Burnitz loaded the bases. Ramirez turned on
a hanging slider.
"One bad pitch basically was the difference in the game,"
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
Ramirez's slam was his first since July 22 last year against
Cincinnati. His 17th homer of the season also extended his hitting
streak to 12 games.
"It felt pretty good," said Ramirez, who turned 27 on
Everett led off the second with his 11th homer. Jermaine Dye
followed with his 15th homer, cutting the Cubs' lead to 4-2. It was
the fifth time this season the White Sox hit consecutive homers.
After Perez booted Pierzynski's slow roller to shortstop,
Hollandsworth preserved the lead by robbing Crede.
"It was a good one to rob," Burnitz said. "It was perfect for
him -- a couple feet over the fence and a nice high one that he had
a chance to jump up for."
"It stopped the bleeding," Maddux said of Hollandsworth's
catch. "It was a big play, and Aramis was a big play, too, coming
out hacking. He found himself a pitch and hit it hard."
Maddux is 5-1 in his last six starts.
"Maddux threw a tremendous game," White Sox manager Ozzie
Guillen said. "We couldn't do much on the bases because we didn't
have that many people on the bases."
Maddux hit all corners of the strike zone, which he has done
throughout his career.
"Today, we had every reason in the world to feel down about
ourselves and Greg picked us up," Walker said.
The Cubs optioned RHP Todd Wellemeyer to Triple-A Iowa and
recalled RHP Roberto Novoa before Saturday's game. This will be the
third stint this season with the Cubs for Novoa, who is 1-1 with a
4.50 ERA in eight relief appearances. Wellemeyer, who allowed five
runs 2 1/3 innings of relief Friday, was 2-1 with a 4.74 ERA in two
stints with the Cubs. ... Maddux needs two wins to tie Gaylord
Perry for 16th place. ... Pablo Ozuna started his fifth straight
game at shortstop for the White Sox, with Juan Uribe nursing a sore
back. ... The back-to-back homers by Everett and Dye were the first
for the White Sox since June 8, when Joe Crede and Frank Thomas hit
consecutive shots against Colorado.