Published November 20, 2014
Southpaw Paul Maholm aims for a second 2012 defeat of the Atlanta Braves tonight, when the Chicago Cubs visit them for game three of a four-game series at Turner Field.
A Mississippi native who turned 30 last month, Maholm ended a four-decision skid on June 29 with 8 1/3 innings of scoreless four-hit ball in a 4-0 defeat of the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field.
In eight previous starts, Maholm had gone 0-4 while watching his season earned run average swell from 4.05 to 5.38.
The Cubs dropped seven of those eight starts while being outscored, 48-24.
Maholm's last victory had come against the Braves on May 9, when he spun seven innings of scoreless three-hit ball in a 1-0 victory.
The former first-round draft choice - eighth overall, 2003 - walked three and struck out three in that victory, his second in three decisions across seven career matchups with Atlanta.
Maholm has held the Braves to only seven earned runs in 47 innings, a stingy 1.34 ERA.
Atlanta replies with Panamanian-born right-hander Randall Delgado, who'll try to end his own four-start drought.
The 22-year-old, who debuted in the majors with seven starts last season, was 4-5 this year after a 2-1 win at Miami on June 6.
He was 0-3 with a no-decision in his final four starts of the month, allowing 22 hits and 13 runs in 18 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees (loss), Baltimore (loss), Boston (loss) and Washington (no-decision).
Delgado allowed a run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs on May 8, when he won a 3-1 decision in his only previous meeting with Chicago.
In Tuesday's second game, Chipper Jones picked up his third career five-hit game and knocked in four runs in the Braves' 10-3 win.
"Just feel fortunate that I'm swinging the bat really good right now when the team needs it," Jones said.
Michael Bourn delivered a bases-clearing triple in the Braves' come-from- behind five-run fifth inning and scored three times.
Jair Jurrjens (2-2) picked up the win after allowing three unearned runs on nine hits in five innings.
Jurrjens was sent to the minor leagues after struggling in his first four starts, in which he was 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA. In three starts since being recalled on June 22, the 26-year-old right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.49 ERA.
Chris Volstad (0-7) was in line for his first win since July 10, 2011, but he imploded in the fifth. Volstad lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks. He has lost 12 straight decisions.
"I just think it's me wanting to be a competitor," Volstad said. "I get runners on base and I'm trying to win the game, and we're ahead, and it's just bad thinking on my part.
"It's just a matter of me wanting to be perfect and I can't expect that of myself. It's definitely a learning experience for sure."
Chicago won two of three games from the Braves in a May series at Wrigley Field. Atlanta won four of seven from the Cubs last season. Chicago last won the season series in 2008.