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Maddux, Braves closing in on Phillies

The Associated Press

With every game, Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves are putting their early season problems behind them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

With every game, Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves are putting their early season problems behind them.

Maddux enjoyed an easy night at Veterans Stadium, and the Braves beat Philadelphia 9-4 Monday to cut the Phillies’ lead in the NL East to 1 1/2 games.

”We’ve done it long enough to know what happens in April doesn’t necessarily dictate what’s going to happen tonight or tomorrow,” Maddux said. ”We’re talented. We have a lot of talent on our team, and our manager deserves a lot of credit.”

The Braves, who have won nine straight division titles, are 15-8 this month.

The Phillies, who held an eight-game lead on June 1, are 7-14 since that point.

”It’s June, not July or August. We’ve hit a little lull,” manager Larry Bowa said. ”We have a very young team. This is not a one-year plan. When I took the job, I said we’d improve and we’ll improve. I guarantee it.”

Brian Jordan hit a three-run homer that highlighted a six-run third inning. Maddux cruised to his fourth straight victory, and the Braves won their fourth in a row overall.

Giants 5, Dodgers 2

Jeff Kent went 4-for-4, and San Francisco beat Los Angeles for its 10th win in 11 games at Pacific Bell Park.

Kent homered and drove in three runs. Barry Bonds went 0-for-2, but walked for the 10th straight game.

Chan Ho Park struck out 10, but he had his four-game winning streak stopped.

Astros 6, Diamondbacks 0

Wade Miller pitched seven scoreless innings, and Houston downed Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.

The NL West-leading Diamondbacks were shut out for just the second time this season.

Lance Berkman and Moises Alou hit consecutive home runs in the seventh as the Astros won their third in a row.

Padres 6, Rockies 4

Ben Davis hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and San Diego won at Coors Field.

Todd Walker went 4-for-4 for Colorado with two home runs and two doubles.

Kevin Jarvis beat his old team as the Padres won their fourth in a row. The Rockies have lost seven of eight.

Pirates 6, Brewers 4

Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez hit consecutive homers, and Pittsburgh downed Milwaukee at PNC Park.

Rookie David Williams won his first career start for the Pirates. Reliever Mike Lincoln, called up from Triple-A Nashville, pitched three hitless innings.

Expos 3, Marlins 1

Javier Vazquez survived a flying bat that nicked him, pitching Montreal over Florida at Pro Player Stadium.

Luis Castillo led off the Marlins’ first and shattered his bat, with the barrel hitting Vazquez on the right side and right arm. Vazquez still managed to cover first base on the play and catch a toss for the out.

Cubs 2, Mets 1

Robert Machado homered for the first time this season, helping Chicago beat New York at Wrigley Field.

Machado, called up from Triple-A last week, broke a 1-all tie when he connected in the seventh inning.

Julian Tavarez pitched seven impressive innings and hit an RBI single for the Cubs.