Greg Maddux put on a triple-threat performance: He helped beat the St. Louis Cardinals with his arm, bat, and legs.
Maddux pitched seven strong innings, stole a base, got an infield hit, and scored twice in the Chicago Cubs' 7-3 victory over the Cardinals yesterday at Busch Stadium.
"It was a great day for Greg," manager Dusty Baker said. "This guy comes to compete and tries to beat you any way he can."
Sammy Sosa, Todd Walker, and Derrek Lee homered for the Cubs, who split the four-game series despite scoring a total of only 14 runs. The games drew a total of 181,826 fans -- an average of 45,456 per game.
For Walker, the setting reminded him of last fall when he was with the Red Sox.
"This series reminds me a lot of playing the Yankees last year in the championship series, the same identical thing almost," Walker said. "I think it prepares you for when you get to the playoffs.
"This is a little more mild-tempered than in Boston and New York where you've got people beating each other up in the stands, and that type of stuff."
Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals and also flied out twice to the warning track. Jim Edmonds hit a solo shot in the eighth off Cubs reliever Francis Beltran.
Maddux (2-2) outpitched former Braves teammate Jason Marquis for his 291st career victory. He allowed two runs and seven hits, walking none and striking out six.
"I didn't see too much of the apprentice," Maddux said. "I pull for him. I watched him come up and he's a guy I'm sure I'll continue to pull for as long as he's playing."
Maddux entered the game with an uncharacteristically high 5.65 ERA. His third straight solid outing left him with a 5.05 ERA.
Reds 7, Astros 5 -- Javier Valentin hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and Cincinnati snapped a five-game losing streak, beating host Houston despite losing Ken Griffey to a stiff right hamstring.
Griffey, hampered by a string of injuries the last three years, left in the third inning after striking out against Roy Oswalt. The center fielder was replaced by Jason Romano and is day-to-day.
Valentin put Cincinnati ahead, 6-5, with a home run off Brad Lidge (0-1). D'Angelo Jimenez added a solo shot in the ninth for the Reds, who ended Houston's four-game winning streak and went 4-6 on their longest road trip of the season.