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Cubs aim to give Maddon milestone win vs. Cards

ST. LOUIS -- It could be a special Mother's Day for Chicago Cubs' manager Joe Maddon on Sunday.

With the Cubs dropping a 5-3 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, Maddon remained stuck on 999 career wins in his managerial career with the then-California and Anaheim Angels (on an interim basis), Tampa Bay Rays and the Cubs.

If he gets the milestone win on Sunday, he would became the eighth active manager in the 1,000-win club. And his mother Beanie, now 84, likely will be watching on television from her home in Hazelton, Pa.

Maddon's chances are aided by the fact that he will be sending Jake Arrieta to the mound to make the start for the Cubs (18-18). Arrieta has had a great deal of success in his career against the Cardinals (20-15).

In 14 career starts, Arrieta is 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA against the Cardinals. It's the lowest ERA for any pitcher in history who has made at least 10 starts against St. Louis.

Arrieta's last win against the Cardinals came on April 4 in the second game of the season, when he beat Adam Wainwright, his opponent again on Sunday. Arrieta allowed one unearned run and four hits in six innings in the Cubs' 2-1 victory.

Arrieta has been struggling lately, however, and he is coming off a start that lasted only 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday in Colorado. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits and needed 85 pitches to get the 11 outs.

The Cardinals will have to decide if they want to give first baseman Matt Carpenter the day off against his former TCU teammate. Carpenter has never had a hit off Arrieta in 27 regular-season at-bats and is 1-for-30 including the postseason.

For Wainwright, this will be another opportunity for a bounce-back game, which seemingly is all he has been doing this season. It will be his eighth start of the season, and in five of the seven he has allowed four or more runs. Only once has he pitched more than 5 1/3 innings.

That includes his last start in Miami on Tuesday, although only one of the four runs charged against him scored when he was on the mound. He left in the sixth with the bases loaded, and Brett Cecil allowed all three inherited runners to score.

One difference in that start, which could happen again on Sunday, was Wainwright's decision to not throw a single cutter among his 97 pitches.

"It was on timeout," Wainwright told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "When it's done disobeying, it will be out of timeout, just like my children."

Wainwright will be relying on the fact he has had success in his career against the Cubs, going 13-9 with a 4.24 ERA in 32 starts and 41 appearances.

Wainwright is 2/3 on the season with a 6.37 ERA and has allowed 53 hits in just 35 1/3 innings while also issuing 13 walks.

It's likely Kris Bryant will be able to play for the Cubs after missing the first two games of the series because of a stomach illness.
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