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Paul Maholm earns place in Cubs history

Updated: August 31, 2012 6:18AM



Paul Maholm didn’t get the decision in the Cubs’ 4-2 extra-inning victory Sunday against the Cardinals.

But he did get a place in franchise history.

Maholm worked 62/3 innings, giving up only one run and four hits, making him the first Cubs left-hander in the modern era to have six consecutive starts of at least six innings allowing one or no runs.

‘‘I just try to go out there and battle through the game and try to go as far as you can as long as you can,’’ said Maholm, who signed as a free agent in the offseason. ‘‘Fortunately for me, things have been going well the last month.’’

Manager Dale Sveum said Maholm has been one of the best pitchers in the game in the last month.

‘‘People forget that though his won-loss record last year wasn’t very good [6-14 with the Pirates], he had a 3.66 ERA,’’ Sveum said.  ‘‘He’s a bona fide starter.’’

Time to start

Trade uncertainty has the rotation in limbo, especially on Tuesday, when Ryan Dempster is slated to start a night game hours after the 3 p.m. non-waiver deadline.

For Monday, the Cubs have opted for recently acquired right-hander Justin Germano in place of Matt Garza, who’s working his way back from a sore triceps but also is in the trade conversation.

Germano has played in parts of several seasons with the Padres, Reds and Indians.

He was acquired from the Red Sox for cash considerations on July 19.

‘‘He’s a crafty guy,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He’s not going to light up a radar gun, but he has good off-speed stuff and sinks the ball.’’

Confident closer

Carlos Marmol has been perfect in his last 12 save opportunities, and though they included some ninth-inning drama, they also have come with renewed self-confidence.

‘‘I think now it’s all confidence,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He’s been able to throw the fastball [for strikes], and he’s getting swings and misses again. Now there’s velocity when he throws strikes, and he’s getting back in counts. But his confidence has been at a high level.’’

Marmol’s early struggles were evident, and he was removed from the ninth-inning role for a time in May and went on the disabled list May 12 with a pulled right hamstring.

Since his return, he has allowed runs in only two games. He has 13 saves in 15 opportunities overall.

In each of his last three appearances, he has faced four batters, giving up either a hit or a walk. But Sveum said the results are what matter.

‘‘He’s done the job,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘One-two-three innings in the last couple of innings are hard to get.’’



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