Skip to content

Atlanta remains favorite stop for winning Cubs

Atlanta remains favorite stop for winning Cubs

Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012 7:00 pm

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Dale Sveum had a blunt appraisal for the Cubs’ play in the first half of the season and a simple plan for better results.
Sveum said the Cubs can improve by taking care of such basics as throwing strikes and hitting with runners were in scoring position.
A few homers also help.
Bryan LaHair, Jeff Baker and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs, Paul Maholm threw six strong innings and Chicago continued its success against Atlanta by beating the Braves 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Paul Maholm (6-6) gave up one run on eight hits in six innings. He had only one walk with five strikeouts.
The Cubs (31-50) are in last place in the NL Central but have won seven of their last nine and are only one-half game behind fifth-place Houston at the midpoint of the 162-game schedule.
“When you’re 20 games under .500, you’ve obviously underachieved,” Sveum said.
The Cubs have played like a contender against the Braves, winning two of the first three games in the four-game series after winning two of three in Chicago on May 7-9.
“Obviously, we’ve played some good games against them,” Maholm said.
Maholm, a Mississippi native, said he enjoys pitching in Atlanta. He is 3-1 against the Braves in his career, including 2-0 this season.
“I grew up a Braves fan,” Maholm said. “I grew up watching Chipper (Jones) and (Tom) Glavine and (Greg) Maddux.
“It’s hot and humid, what I grew up pitching in. I can’t say I don’t enjoy coming here.”
The Braves, third in the NL East, fell 6 games behind first-place Washington.
“Sometimes, man, you meet a team that’s playing good baseball,” said Atlanta’s Michael Bourn, who had three hits. “That’s what’s happening right now. (The Cubs) were earning it. Hey, we lost.”
Rizzo’s homer off Anthony Varvaro in the eighth was his second of the series and third overall since his recall from Triple-A Iowa on June 26.
Randall Delgado (4-9) allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in six-plus innings. Delgado has lost four straight decisions.
James Russell gave up only a walk in two scoreless innings behind Maholm. Carlos Marmol pitched a perfect ninth.
Jones, who had five hits in the Braves’ 10-3 win on Tuesday night, had a first-inning single to give him hits in six straight at-bats and a season-best 11-game hitting streak.
Jones added a sixth-inning single and advanced to second when Maholm hit Freddie Freeman with a pitch.
With two outs, Jones was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Alfonso Soriano as he tried to score from second on a single by David Ross.
The Cubs scored in the first inning on a delayed double-steal.
 Published in The Messenger 7.5.12

Leave a Comment