Braves one loss away from elimination - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Braves one loss away from elimination

October 3, 2003

(Chicago-AP) -- Mark Prior threw a two-hitter and outpitched Greg Maddux as the Chicago Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 tonight to take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five National League playoff series.

It was the first complete game by a Cubs pitcher in the postseason since Claude Passeau threw a one-hitter to beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 in Game 3 of the 1945 World Series.

Matt Clement will start tomorrow, when the Cubs try to capture their first postseason series since winning the 1908 World Series.

Russ Ortiz, the Braves' 21-game winner who took the loss in Game 1, will go on three days' rest.

The Braves will need to wake up their bats and start catching the ball after making four errors tonight.

 The 23-year-old Prior gave up only Marcus Giles' single to shallow right-center in the third and Mark DeRosa's pinch-hit double leading off the eighth.

 Atlanta spoiled the shutout when DeRosa moved up on a groundout and scored on Giles' sacrifice fly.

Prior, who won 18 games in his first full major league season, walked four, struck out seven and was bolstered by a frenetic crowd at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs got to Maddux in the first on Randall Simon's two-out, two-run single that followed a key stolen base and wild pitch.

Aramis Ramirez drove in the Cubs final run with a two-out double in the eighth.