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Braves top Padres, 4-1
Morton bests Maddux as Braves even series in San Diego
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Atlanta Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson reaches out to field the throw as San Diego Padres' Greg Maddux steals second base during the third inning Saturday in San Diego. - photo by Denis Poroy

SAN DIEGO -- Jeff Francoeur had a tiebreaking broken bat single with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to help the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 Saturday night and extend Greg Maddux's winless skid to 12 starts.

Maddux (3-8), who won his 350th game on May 10, is one start short of his longest winless drought, which was a 13-start stretch from May 11-July 14, 1990, with the Chicago Cubs.

The teams will meet today at 4:05 p.m. in the rubber game of the three-game series, the final game before the All-Star break for each team.

Maddux allowed just three hits over the first five innings and retired the first two batters in the sixth. But Chipper Jones lined his second single of the night to left and Mark Teixeira singled to center before Brian McCann drew his second of three walks from Maddux loading he bases.

Francoeur, who was sent down to Double-A Mississippi on July 4th and recalled July 7, singled just out of the reach of diving shortstop Khalil Greene, and Jones and Teixeira scored.

Jones was 1-for-14 before going 3-for-4 Saturday. He is now hitting a major league tops .378.

Rookie Charlie Morton (2-2), picked up the victory pitching 5 1-3 innings and allowing four hits and a run.
Will Ohman finished the sixth and Blaine Boyer pitched two hitless innings before Mike Gonzalez picked up his third save in three opportunities this season and his 33rd straight save over parts of five seasons. Braves pitchers limited the Padres to just four hits.

While Maddux didn't get the victory, he did make history as he stole his first base of the season in the third. In doing so he became the oldest pitcher in big league history to steal a base at 42 years and 89 days. Jim Kaat had the previous mark. It was Maddux's 11th stolen base of his career.

Maddux pitched seven innings allowing six hits, three earned runs. He walked two, struck out three and hit a batter.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third. Brent Lillibridge doubled down the right-field line. He moved to third on a sacrifice by Morton and scored on Gregor Blanco's sacrifice fly to center.

The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez walked leading off the inning and came around to score on a double by Jody Gerut to the gap in left-center.

Lillibridge, a 24-year-old rookie, hit his first major league home run in the top of the ninth off reliever Joe Thatcher.

Notes: The Padres honored members of the 1998 National League championship team prior to the game. Among the players returning for the ceremonies included former Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, Kevin Brown, Greg Vaughn, Carlos Hernandez, Sterling Hitchcock, Steve Finley, Dave Stewart, and Merv Rettenmund and current uniformed Padres closer Trevor Hoffman and batting coach Wally Joyner. The Padres beat the Braves, 4 games to 2 in the NLCS before losing to the Yankees in the 1998 World Series.

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