3-27-07 -- Greg Maddux looks to be ready to start the season, and the same goes for the San Diego Padres' hitters.
Maddux had his longest outing of the spring, giving up four hits and striking out five in six innings, and San Diego banged out a spring-high 25 hits in a 24-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
"Very pleased," Maddux said. "I was glad to survive out there. It's not like your outfielders practice every day to catch balls in 20-mile-an-hour winds."
The four-time Cy Young Award winner said he felt strong and could have gone longer. He faced only 17 hitters over the first five innings and went into the bottom of the sixth with a 17-0 lead. Marlon Byrd's home run after Maddux's only walk ended the shutout.
"It was a good spring," said Maddux, who is expected to be the Padres' No. 4 starter. "I got my work in, pitched a lot, and played a lot of golf. ... Mentally I feel good going into that first game."
Texas' pitching might need some work. Starter Kevin Millwood gave up 12 hits and nine earned runs in 4 1-3 innings. Reliever Eric Gagne allowed four runs and five hits in a 20-pitch inning. Left-handed reliever Ron Mahay got just one out while being touched up for seven runs.
"After the first inning we made a few mistakes behind Millwood, and it all went down hill after that," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "It only counts as one loss."
Russell Branyan had four hits for San Diego, including his fourth and fifth home runs of the spring. He drove in five runs. Adrian Gonzalez and Terrmel Sledge each had three hits. Gonzalez hit his fifth spring homer and drove in three runs.
On a day when the wind gusted to about 30 mph at times, Millwood, the Rangers' opening-day starter, had trouble with location.
"I'm not worried about it," said Millwood, who had given up only four earned runs in five previous games, including four "B" games and against a Triple-A club. "Every time I made a mistake they hit it hard, and that doesn't usually happen."