July 18, 2009 in Sports

Braves retire Maddux’s 31

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Greg Maddux’s No. 31 was retired Friday for the second time this season. The Cubs also retired his No. 31 in May.
(Full-size photo)

By the numbers

18: Gold Gloves for Greg Maddux, the most in major league history.

68: Runs scored by the New York Mets in the 22 games since Carlos Beltran went on the DL.

On the day the Atlanta Braves retired Greg Maddux’s number, his former manager Bobby Cox led the praises.

“I get asked by managers and press people all the time, how good was he?” Cox said. “Was he the best pitcher I ever saw? Was he the smartest pitcher I ever saw? Was he the best competitor I ever saw? Was he the best teammate I ever saw?

“The answer is yes to all the above.”

Maddux was always grouped with Tom Glavine and John Smoltz as the team’s most dominant starting pitchers. Maddux said his former teammates also deserve their places in the team’s history.

“When you talk about Atlanta pitching, there’s always three names you mention, there’s never just one,” Maddux said Friday.

The 43-year-old Maddux was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame at a luncheon attended by about 900 fans. He had his No. 31 retired before the Braves played the New York Mets.

Maddux won the 1992 N.L. Cy Young award with the Chicago Cubs and then won three straight with the Braves from 1993-95, becoming the first to win four straight.

Red Sox activate Lowell, cut Lugo

The Boston Red Sox activated third baseman Mike Lowell off the 15-day disabled list and promoted right-hander Clay Buchholz from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Friday against Toronto.

To make room on the roster, Boston designated shortstop Julio Lugo for assignment and optioned first baseman Aaron Bates to Triple-A.

Soriano sidelined with swollen pinkie

Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano says he dislocated a finger and isn’t sure when he’ll return to the lineup.

Soriano was scratched for Friday’s game at Washington because of a swollen right pinkie.

Soriano said he got hurt Thursday night when he was thrown out diving into first base during a 6-2 win over the Nationals.

Mitre will become Yankees’ No. 5 starter

Sergio Mitre will become the Yankees’ No. 5 starter while Chien-Ming Wang is on the disabled list.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the team plans to bring up Mitre to start against Baltimore on Tuesday night.

Wang, on the disabled list since July 5 with a right shoulder strain, probably will play catch on flat ground Sunday or Monday.

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