Braves' 15-game winning streak ends

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The Independent Online

Braves 4, Dodgers 6 .

For once, the Atlanta Braves watched someone else shake hands after the final out.

The Braves' franchise-record 15-game winning streak ended Wednesday night as Los Angeles defeated Greg Maddux 6-4 at Dodger Stadium.

"Losing is something you don't like, but 15 out of 16 isn't bad," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "We'll take that anytime."

The streak was the longest in the National League since the New York Giants won 16 straight in 1951. Minnesota won 15 in a row in 1991.

"It's been a good run," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. "We need to go back home and start a new streak and not let this loss snowball on us."

Atlanta had not lost since a 6-3 defeat on April 15 at Milwaukee. Off Thursday, the Braves play Philadelphia on Friday night at Turner Field, where they have not lost since April 7.

The longest winning streak in major league history is 26 - all at home - by the 1916 Giants. That team managed by John McGraw also won 17 straight - all on the road - that season, yet finished fourth in the NL at 86-66.

In other NL games, Colorado beat Montreal 16-7, San Francisco defeated New York 8-5 in 11 innings, Pittsburgh stopped St. Louis 8-2, Chicago topped Houston 4-3, Philadelphia beat Cincinnati 5-2, Milwaukee downed Arizona 4-1 and San Diego defeated Florida 3-1.

Shawn Green and Todd Hollandsworth each homered and had three hits for the Dodgers. Maddux (4-1) gave up nine hits in a complete game.

"I made a couple of mistakes and it seemed they hit every one out," he said.

Said winning pitcher Carlos Perez: "I told my mother this morning that if I beat Greg Maddux, I would be the happiest man around."

The last team to win 16 in a row was Kansas City in 1977. The Braves had been 14-0 since John Rocker returned from a two-week suspension.

Rockies 16, Expos 7

Todd Helton went 5-for-5 and Colorado set a team record with 24 hits in a romp at Coors Field.

The Rockies, who scored 72 runs in a six-game homestand against Montreal and New York, led 16-4 after five innings.

All nine Colorado starters had an RBI. Helton set a career high for hits and Jeff Cirillo went 4-for-4 and scored three times.

The Rockies' previous record for hits was 21, done four times.

Giants 8, Mets 5, 11 innings

Jeff Kent's three-run homer in the 11th inning gave San Francisco its third straight win over New York.

The Giants have won three in a row at Pacific Bell Park after starting out 1-7 in their new stadium.

Marvin Benard singled to open the 11th against Turk Wendell and Barry Bonds walked on four pitches. Kent followed with a drive into the left-field seats.

Mets starter Mike Hampton, who began the day 8-0 lifetime against the Giants, gave up five runs on six hits and six walks in 5 1-3 innings. He has walked 36 in 38 2-3 innings this year.

Pirates 8, Cardinals 2

Kris Benson survived four walks in the first inning and Pittsburgh won at Busch Stadium.

Benson (2-3) became the first Pirates starter with two victories. He overcame seven walks in seven innings.

Brian Giles and Kevin Young homered on consecutive pitches in the Pittsburgh sixth. St. Louis center fielder Jim Edmonds crashed into the wall to rob Wil Cordero of a home run in the seventh, but had the wind knocked out of him and left after the inning.

Cubs 4, Astros 3

Jon Lieber beat Houston for the second time in a week and Chicago won at Wrigley Field.

Lieber, who pitched a complete game against the Astros last Thursday, lasted 7 2-3 innings. Rick Aguilera struck out Ken Caminiti with two runners on base to end it.

Eric Young homered to lead off the Cubs first.

Phillies 5, Reds 2

Paul Byrd looked sharp and Philadelphia ended its four-game losing streak.

Byrd had been 4-9 with a 6.45 ERA since making the NL All-Star team last season. He allowed three hits in seven innings.

Ken Griffey Jr. went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .200. After Cincinnati closed to 5-2 in the eighth, he grounded into an inning-ending double play with two runners on.

Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 1

Horacio Estrada, called up from the minor leagues before the game, pitched seven strong innings in his first major league start.

Estrada, who made four relief appearances for Milwaukee last year, gave up three hits and walked three.

Geoff Jenkins hit his 11th home run and Sean Berry also connected for the Brewers.

Arizona lost for only the fifth time in 14 road games.

Padres 3, Marlins 1

Brian Meadows, traded from Florida to San Diego last November for reliever Dan Miceli, came within two outs of his first career shutout.

Meadows exited after giving up a home run to Cliff Floyd, and Trevor Hoffman closed for his fifth save.