The Cincinnati Reds not only beat the unbeatable Greg Maddux, they also impressed him.
Maddux's career-high 10-game winning streak ended Wednesday night as Benito Santiago hit a three-run homer, leading Cincinnati to a 9-3 win over Atlanta.Maddux (12-2) had not lost since May 17, a span of 14 starts, and his streak was a season-high in the NL this season.
"The Reds are a very aggressive club on the bases and at the plate," Maddux said. "They run the bases well, hit with power and play good defense. There are a lot of reasons they have the best record in the league."
Cincinnati has won seven of eight to compile the NL's best record, one game better than Atlanta.
Maddux took a two-hitter and a 2-0 lead into the sixth, but Santiago hit a three-run homer, his seventh, and Hal Morris, a .436 hitter lifetime against Maddux, singled in another for a 4-2 lead.
"I had good location on the fastball to Santiago, but it was up a little and outside, and he did a good job going with the pitch to right," Maddux said.
Maddux allowed five runs on eight hits in 62/3 innings, and his ERA rose from a league-leading 1.74 to 1.96. Hideo Nomo leads the NL at 1.89.
Maddux walked a season-high five and struck out eight to drop to 8-10 lifetime against the Reds. He also threw his first wild pitch since April 14, 1994.
Dave Burba (6-2), making his second start for the Reds, held the Braves to three runs on six hits in six innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Jeff Brantley got four outs for his 24th save.
With the win, the Reds improved to 60-33. Atlanta is close behind at 60-35. Cincinnati holds a 5-4 edge in this season's series against the Braves. The teams play one more game tonight in the current three-game stand, which could be a preview of the NL playoffs.
Marlins 2, Rockies 1
At Miami, Kurt Abbott had three hits, including an inside-the-park home run, and drove in both runs as host Florida beat Colorado.
The Marlins have won 10 of 12, and are 19-13 career against their expansion brethren.
Mets 4, Phillies 0
At Philadelphia, rookie Jason Isringhausen pitched eight shutout innings. The Phillies lost their season-high seventh straight and dropped to .500 (48-48) for the first time since May 3, when they were 3-3.
Giants 4, Pirates 3
At San Francisco, Glenallen Hill's two-run homer in the seventh inning kept William VanLandingham's record perfect at Candlestick Park.
VanLandingham (3-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in eight innings. He has a 7-0 record in 14 career starts at home.
Expos 6, Astros 5
At Houston, Mike Lansing's two-run double highlighted a three-run fifth inning, and Pedro Martinez scattered 11 hits in eight-plus innings as Montreal hung on to win.
Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2
At Los Angeles, Eric Karros homered for the third straight game as the Dodgers moved within a game of the NL West lead.
Tom Candiotti (6-10) allowed a run and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, helping the Dodgers capitalize on Colorado's 2-1 loss at Florida.