Thursday, July 5, 2012

Paul Maholm backed by HRs from LaHair, Baker and Rizzo as Cubs beat Braves 5-1 on Independence Day

The Cubs had a happy 4th of July as they won 5-1 over the Atlanta Braves.  Paul Maholm started for the Cubs and allowed one run on eight hits and struck out five batters and walked one over six innings pitched.  He earned his second straight victory of the season.

Paul Maholm earned his second straight win on July 4th against the Braves (photo from Chicago Tribune)
"We're obviously playing a lot better baseball than we were the first two months," Maholm said.  "I think you can credit every guy in here who comes in here and prepares every day and expects to win and lays it out there, and however it may be, we'll come in and do the same thing."

Bryan LaHair, Jeff Baker, and Anthony Rizzo all hit homers in Wednesday's game.  This was the Cubs' seventh win in their last nine games, which is a nice trend to see after their poor first half of the season.  The Cubs now are 31-50 at the halfway point.

Jeff Baker is congratulated by teammates after hitting a homer in the July 4th game against the Braves (photo from Chicago Tribune)
In other Cubs news, Ryan Dempster is hoping that manager Dale Sveum will let him start on Sunday in New York, since he feels like he's ready to come off the disabled list.  "I think they trust me," Dempster said.  Sveum said, "He's so attuned to his mechanics and his arm and how he feels.  It's at the point where it's not like we'd leave him out there for 110 pitches or something either.  He's feeling as good as he ever does.  That's the kicker to it all."

Tomorrow the Cubs and Braves will play the final game of the four-game series at 6:10pm CT.  Matt Garza will start for the Cubs and try for his fifth win.

Independence Day festivities in Atlanta before the Cubs-Braves game (photo from Chicago Tribune)

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