Cubs Stop Uggla’s Hitting Streak, Beat Braves, 6-5
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ATLANTA (AP) – Dan Uggla was quick to acknowledge he never thought he’d have a hitting streak as long as 33 games.
Now the Chicago Cubs are streaking.
The Cubs stopped Uggla’s 33-game hitting streak and rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Sunday for their fourth straight series win.
The Cubs have won 11 of 14.
Uggla’s streak was the longest in the majors in five years. He was 0-for-3 with an RBI.
“That’s more games than I thought I would ever have,” Uggla said.
His best chance to extend the streak came in the fifth. Second baseman Darwin Barney made a diving catch of Uggla’s fly ball in shallow right field. Barney was fully extended when he made the catch in front of right fielder Tyler Colvin.
“I wasn’t even looking at him,” said Uggla of Barney. “I was looking at Colvin and I was like `Oh, it’s going to drop in front of him.’ And the next thing you know Barney comes flying through.”
Barney said the catch was more important because of Uggla’s streak.
“Because of the circumstances and all that, I’m pretty happy about it,” Barney said.
“It was a good streak for him. He’s a great player. But I think our pitchers are happy. They take a lot of pride in that, and I’m happy for them.”
Uggla grounded out to shortstop against Jeff Samardzija in the seventh in his final at-bat. He didn’t come up in the ninth, when Carlos Marmol earned his 28th save.
“The streak is one thing. I’m more disappointed in the loss,” Uggla said. “It was a fun run but all things have got to come to an end sometime. I had fun with it. We had a nice, little roll as a team and we’re looking to get back on track tomorrow.”
Uggla’s streak was the longest in the majors since 2006, when Philadelphia’s Chase Utley had a 35-game streak. Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins had a 38-game streak that began in 2005 and carried through the start of 2006.
Uggla was hitting only .173 when he started the streak on July 5. He has raised his average to .231.
Uggla had 15 homers and 32 RBIs in the streak.
Marmol walked Michael Bourn, who had three hits, with two outs in the ninth. Bourn stole second base but Martin Prado popped out to third baseman Aramis Ramirez to end the game. Uggla was on deck.
Uggla’s teammates patted him on the back and hugged him in the dugout after the game.
“For me, it’s impressive,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “It was a streak where at any given time Chipper (Jones) wasn’t in the lineup and Brian McCann wasn’t in the lineup, and Uggla carried us. That was impressive.”
Uggla streak passed Rico Carty’s 31-game streak in 1970 as the longest in Atlanta Braves history. The franchise record is 37 games by Tommy Holmes for the 1945 Boston Braves.
The Braves led 4-0 through five innings and 5-4 through six before Carlos Pena’s two-run homer in the seventh.
Atlanta took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Jason Heyward singled off John Grabow (3-0), stole second and scored on Grabow’s wild throw to first on a grounder by Alex Gonzalez.
The Cubs answered in the seventh when Barney singled and scored on Pena’s 23rd homer to right field off Eric O’Flaherty (1-4).
The Cubs, who won two of three from the Braves, have won four straight series for the first time since Sept. 9-21, 2008.
Cubs manager Mike Quade said before the game the team has moved past the controversy of pitcher Carlos Zambrano cleaning out his locker and leaving the team on Friday night and being placed on the disqualified list on Saturday.
“Look, grown-ups make decisions, and he made a decision,” Quade said. “And that’s his deal at this point, it’s not mine.”
Zambrano’s Cubs equipment bag was seen on the truck being loaded outside the clubhouse, but there was no indication he will join the team before the end of his 30-day leave without pay. He cannot be involved in team activities while on the disqualified list.
Bourn singled in the first and moved to third when Matt Garza fielded Prado’s soft grounder and threw high to second for an error. Bourn scored on Uggla’s fly ball to left.
Garza’s six errors lead all pitchers in the majors, according to STATS LLC. He gave up four runs, two earned, on six hits and a walk in five innings.
The Braves added two runs in the second on RBI singles by Bourn and Prado and stretched the lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Jose Constanza walked, stole second and third and scored on Bourn’s broken-bat single to center.
Colvin had a two-run single in Chicago’s four-run sixth. Brandon Beachy, who gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1-3 innings, was lifted after allowing singles by Barney and Ramirez and Pena’s run-scoring fly ball. Scott Linebrink gave up three straight hits, including Colvin’s two-run single.
Arodys Vizcaino’s wild pitch to Blake DeWitt allowed Geovany Soto to score from third.
NOTES: Atlanta pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts. … Quade said RHP Casey Coleman will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to replace Zambrano in the rotation. Coleman is 2-4 with a 7.23 ERA in 11 games, including nine starts, with Chicago this season. … Former Braves two-time NL MVP Dale Murphy threw out the first pitch. … The Braves will open a four-game series against San Francisco on Monday night when Tim Hudson faces the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner. … The Cubs begin a game at Houston when Rodrigo Lopez is schedule to face the Astros’ Henry Sosa. … McCann came off the 15-day disabled list and was 0-for-4. … The Braves placed RHP Tommy Hanson on the 15-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis and activated Linebrink. The team optioned RHP Anthony Varvaro to Triple-A Gwinnett. Fredi Gonzalez said RHP Randall Delgado will be recalled from Gwinnett to start Tuesday against San Francisco.
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