After lasting only four innings in each of his first two starts, Maholm goes for his fourth straight victory Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game series against the Braves at Wrigley Field.
Maholm has a 1.47 ERA and .179 batting average against in his last three outings and credits the difference to better execution and location, which are two keys for a ground-ball pitcher.
"My goal is to get the first guy out in the inning and keep it at three pitches or less and get a bunch of ground balls," Maholm said after his last start. "In the last few games, I've gotten a bunch of ground balls."
Maholm looks to continue his recent success against the Braves -- who he has a 1.58 career ERA against -- and right-hander Tim Hudson, who is making his third start of the season.
Hudson is coming off a rocky last start in which he allowed five first-inning runs at Coors Field before the offense came back for an extra-innings win. The 36-year-old right-hander has had plenty of success in his career against the Cubs -- 2-0, 3.94 ERA -- and at Wrigley Field, where he has a 2.91 ERA in three career starts.
Braves: Sveum impressed with Jones' longevity
Cubs manager Dale Sveum played until he was 35 and is impressed with Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who is still going strong at 40.
"I think I could've kept going if I didn't blow my back out. My back was the determining factor to where I couldn't run and bend down at the same time," Sveum said when asked if he could have kept playing. "I could still swing the bat. I couldn't do any extra work or do anything with my back. Everything else was fine. My back finally gave out -- the herniated disk didn't work any more.
"I think most guys when you get to that age -- I played 18 years and you take that many swings, the back for a lot of people is the thing that goes."
Outfielder Jason Heyward has a .367 average with four home runs, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored in nine career games at Wrigley Field.
Outfielder Michael Bourn has a 12-game hitting streak in which he's batting .352.
Cubs: Hot corners
First baseman Bryan LaHair has reached base safely in 26 straight games -- the longest streak for a Cubs first baseman since Derrek Lee's 30-game streak in 2009 -- while third baseman Ian Stewart is hitting .320 with a double, two homers and three RBIs in his last eight games.
Right-hander Ryan Dempster struck out seven in Tuesday's win and now has 1,801 career strikeouts.
Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano is hitting only .171 (6-for-35) in his career against Hudson, but three of his six hits have been home runs.
The Braves have won the last three season series against the Cubs, going 4-2 in 2009 and 2010 and 4-3 in '11.
Five of the Cubs' eight wins at Wrigley Field have been come-from-behind victories.