Even though he was not selected to the National League All-Star team for the first time since 1993, Greg Maddux served notice last night. He is back.
The four-time Cy Young Award winner, who struggled through May and much of June, allowed one run in six innings before leaving with a bruised foot in the Braves' 7-3 win over the Florida Marlins in Atlanta.
"It's no big deal," Maddux said after X-rays showed no damage. "It feels fine."
Maddux (9-5) departed after getting hit on the top of his left foot by Bruce Aven's grounder with two outs in the sixth inning. Maddux threw Aven out on the play and limped off the field.
After the game, his foot looked only slightly discolored by a red mark. Appearing in good humor, Maddux confirmed he will start the Braves' last game of the first half Sunday against Boston on only three days' rest.
"Hey, it beats waiting 10 days to pitch again," Maddux said. "I'd rather come back on three days than wait over a week to pitch again."
The right-hander gave up three hits and no walks with five strikeouts to win his third straight start. He is 4-2 with an 0.73 earned run average in his last six starts. He has given up only 28 hits and nine walks in that span.
Preston Wilson ended Maddux's string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings with a solo shot, his 18th homer, in the fifth. Before Wilson's homer, Maddux had not given up a run since losing 2-1 at Montreal on June 22.
"He's a master," said Florida Manager John Boles. "It's not fun having to face him, but you still have to admire him. He's a cut above."
PHILLIES 5, BREWERS 4: Scott Rolen's homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth atoned for a blown lead in the top of the inning and gave host Philadelphia the victory.
Rolen, who couldn't handle Ron Belliard's bad-hop double into the left field corner that capped a two-run ninth and tied it at 2, won the game with a shot off Bob Wickman (2-4).
Rolen had been hitless in his first four at-bats, leading fans to chant "Scotty's due! Scotty's due!" when he came to the plate in the ninth. He responded with his 19th homer.
"It took me a minute to actually figure out what they were saying," Rolen said. "I thought my mom was out there. I thought the whole town of Jasper [Indiana] showed up."
CARDINALS 2, REDS 1: Darren Bragg's two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth gave host St. Louis the victory. Scott Williamson (7-3) had pitched two hitless innings before blowing the game in the ninth. Pinch hitter Willie McGee reached on a throwing error by all-star shortstop Barry Larkin to start the inning. Bragg followed with his fourth home run, just over the right field wall.
"With Willie getting on he had to come after me because the big boys [J.D. Drew and Mark McGwire] were coming up," Bragg said. "He had to come right after me and I got a pitch I could handle."
PIRATES 4, CUBS 1: Keith Osik doubled to start a three-run seventh -- his first big hit since replacing the injured Jason Kendall -- and host Pittsburgh won behind Francisco Cordova. Cordova (4-4) allowed five hits and one run that probably shouldn't have scored in his first complete game of the season.
EXPOS 3, METS 1: Luis Lopez's error in the eighth allowed the go-ahead run to score and help visiting Montreal snap a five-game losing streak.
ROCKIES 7, DODGERS 5: In Denver, Vinny Castilla hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning.
DIAMONDBACKS 13, ASTROS 7: Host Arizona tied a club record with five home runs, including two by Steve Finley, to pound Houston.
PADRES 5, GIANTS 2: Trevor Hoffman pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth as host San Diego won to avoid a three-game sweep.
CAPTION: Mets' Benny Agbayani is tagged out at third by shortstop Orlando Cabrera after trying to advance on a hit-and-run from first during Expos' 3-1 victory.