While Greg Maddux was nearly unhittable, Atlanta batters couldn't miss what the New York Mets were throwing.
Again looking like the dominant pitcher who won four straight Cy Young Awards, Maddux allowed just two hits in six shutout innings as the Atlanta Braves made it look like batting practice in a historic 16-0 rout last night in New York.
"It was a breather. Almost like an off-day," Maddux said.
Chipper Jones hit a pair of two-run homers, Eddie Perez and Gerald Williams hit three-run drives and Ryan Klesko added a solo shot for the Braves, who sent the Mets to their worst shutout loss ever.
The Braves matched their biggest shutout win this century, having beaten Brooklyn 16-0 on May 7, 1918, and tying that against Pittsburgh on Sept. 12, 1952.
It got so bad for the Mets that closer John Franco couldn't get out of the ninth inning, issuing consecutive two-out walks while down 13-0. At that point, starter Rick Reed entered to play right field and utilityman Matt Franco came in to pitch.
Matt Franco gave up the homer to Williams and Otis Nixon tripled, but Andruw Jones struck out.
In his last four starts, Maddux (8-5) has allowed two earned runs in 27 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA from 4.64 to 3.66.
PADRES 15, ROCKIES 3: Visiting San Diego coasted to its 14th straight victory behind Reggie Sanders's four hits, sending Colorado to its ninth loss in a row. The Padres extended the best winning streak in team history and matched the longest in the majors since Kansas City won 14 straight in 1994.
"Our guys are just playing outstanding baseball," Manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's just fun to watch. . . . Guys are swinging the bats. We're getting timely hits. It's a nice roll to get on."
ASTROS 7, REDS 5: Carl Everett had four hits, including an inside-the-park homer and a two-run double, as visiting Houston ended Cincinnati's 10-game winning streak. "You can't win 'em all," said the Reds' Sean Casey, who homered on his 25th birthday. "We took four from them down there and they were hungry."
Jeff Bagwell hit his 26th homer as Houston, stung by Cincinnati's four-game sweep at the Astrodome last weekend, pulled back into a first-place tie with the Reds in the NL Central.
DIAMONDBACKS 9, CARDINALS 5: Luis Gonzalez drove in three runs and visiting Arizona overcame a pair of two-run homers and five RBI by Mark McGwire. McGwire hit his 24th and 25th home runs for his 56th career multihomer game, moving ahead of Jimmie Foxx for fourth on the career list. Brian Anderson (2-1) gave up both homers to McGwire, but held the rest of the Cardinals to five hits and struck out a career-high eight in 6 2/3 innings. McGwire declined to talk about the homers but did comment on teammate Joe McEwing, who set a Cardinals rookie record by extending his hitting streak to 23 games. "Chicks can start digging singles instead of long balls," McGwire said, referring to a line in a popular TV commercial.
PHILLIES 14, CUBS 1: In Philadelphia, Scott Rolen hit an inside-the-park homer and added a 421-foot blast and drove in four runs, and rookie Randy Wolf struck out a career-high 10.
BREWERS 5, PIRATES 2: Geoff Jenkins drove in three runs and Jeromy Burnitz hit his 23rd homer. Milwaukee won for the seventh time in eight road games. The Brewers have won nine of 12 overall.
GIANTS 6, DODGERS 3: Barry Bonds hit two of San Francisco's five home runs as the visiting Giants won their fifth straight and the Dodgers lost their fifth in a row.
EXPOS-MARLINS, PPD.: The game in Miami was postponed because of rain in the top of the first with the Expos ahead 1-0. It will be made up when the Expos visit the Marlins Sept. 21-23.
CAPTION: Chipper Jones, left, gets pat on head from Ryan Klesko after hitting two-run homer in first. He added another homer in Braves' 16-0 victory over Mets.