(Saturday, April 21st)
Final Score: Chicago 6, Cincinnati 1
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The drought is over for Paul Maholm.
The left-hander tossed six strong innings and the Chicago Cubs used an early offensive surge to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-1, in the middle test of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Maholm (1-2) gave up one run on four hits and three walks to pick up his first win since July 10, 2011. He had gone 0-7 with a 7.03 earned run average in his previous nine outings.
"I need ground balls and I need to get ahead and execute pitches," Maholm said.
Darwin Barney and Steve Clevenger both had three hits and knocked in a run for the Cubs, who snapped a six-game losing streak.
Mike Leake (0-2) allowed five runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings for Cincinnati, which was vying for its third straight win. The Reds have dropped six of nine overall.
The teams traded runs in the first inning. After Brandon Phillips' one-out single plated Zack Cozart, Chicago tied it on a Bryan LaHair sacrifice fly.
The Cubs moved ahead with a four-run second, during which they set eight men to the plate. Clevenger led off with a single and scored when Joe Mather doubled into the left-center field gap.
After Maholm went down on strikes for the second out, David DeJesus, Barney and Starlin Castro strung together three consecutive hits.
DeJesus singled home Mather, who had advanced to third on failed pickoff attempt, and then crossed the plate when Barney doubled into the left-field corner. Castro contributed an RBI triple for a 5-1 Chicago lead.
The Reds loaded the bases in the fourth, but Maholm escaped the jam by retiring Leake on a fielder's choice.
"We had some chances to come back. We could have pecked away and got a little closer," said Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker.
Clevenger added a run-scoring single in the seventh.
Chicago was in the midst of its longest slide since an eight-game skid from May 30-June 7, 2011...Maholm improved to 6-1 in nine career starts against the Reds away from Great American Ball Park...Chicago outhit the Reds, 14-6...Castro extended his hit streak to nine games...The five runs were the most allowed by Leake in eight career starts against the Cubs...Before the game, the Cubs placed starting pitcher Ryan Dempster on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 18) with a strained right quad and recalled outfielder Tony Campana from Triple-A Iowa.
04/21 17:37:50 ET