Uggla and Braves win-win
Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 9:06 pm
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
MIAMI (AP) — Dan Uggla often wins praise for his hustle, and a short sprint helped him extend his hitting streak to 29 games Monday night.
The slugging second baseman beat out a grounder to shortstop and subsequently scored on a three-run homer by Alex Gonzalez to help the Atlanta Braves beat the slumping Florida Marlins 8-5 Monday night.
“Every hit counts,” Uggla said. “You take the infield ones with the doubles in the gap. Hitting ain’t easy.”
Uggla has the longest active hitting streak in the majors, and he’s tied with Rowland Office for the second-longest streak in franchise history behind Rico Carty’s 31 in a row in 1970.
The streak comes after the two-time All-Star endured a miserable first three months of the season. Traded from Florida to Atlanta in November, Uggla was last in the majors in batting at .173 when the streak began, but he’s up to .220 now.
“For what he went through in April and May, and keeping levelheaded, it’s nice for him to do what he signed up for,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I give him all the credit in the world, because there would be a lot of guys moping around. He stayed the same guy.”
After Uggla and Chipper Jones singled in the fifth, Gonzalez hit his 10th home run off Brad Hand (1-4).
Uggla added a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Atlanta’s Michael Bourn drove in a run with his 30th infield hit, most in the NL, and added his 42nd stolen base. Freddie Freeman, whose career-best 20-game hitting streak ended Sunday, had a two-run single.
The short-handed Marlins fell to 0-5 on their homestand. They were without three starters injured in the past week — Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante and Logan Morrison — which further hampered an offense that has scored 24 runs in 10 games against Atlanta this season.
Derek Lowe (7-10), who had lost his past three starts, allowed two runs in six innings. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first when Gaby Sanchez hit into an inning-ending double play.
“To get a big double play there gives you confidence, especially the way I’ve been pitching,” Lowe said.
Craig Kimbrel struck out the only two batters he faced for his 35th save in 40 chances.
Fredi Gonzalez missed the finish. He was ejected for the third time this season for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout in the fourth inning.
“You can’t argue balls and strikes,” Gonzalez said. “I deserved what I got.”
Freeman was also thrown out by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Published in The Messenger 8.9.11