Braves Beat Cubs 10-7
CHICAGO (AP) —Chris Johnson had three hits, including his third homer in two days, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 10-7 on Sunday to remain near the top of the NL East at the All-Star break.
The Braves are one percentage point behind division-leading Washington. Atlanta (52-43) has won three of four since a four-game losing streak.
Johnson hit a long drive to straightaway center field for a three-run shot in a four-run third inning against Travis Wood (7-8). Johnson also went deep twice in the Braves’ 11-6 victory at Wrigley Field on Saturday.
Atlanta played without struggling second baseman Dan Uggla, who was suspended by the team for the final game before the All-Star break. The Braves announced the punishment on their Twitter feed, with no further explanation.
“I’m not going to say anything other than that it’s an internal matter,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said before the game.
Arismendy Alcantara and Chris Coghlan each hit a two-run homer off All-Star Julio Teheran (9-6) for the last-place Cubs, who have lost eight of 10.
It was the first career shot for the 22-year-old Alcantara, who also had a bloop double in the first and is batting .391 (9 for 23) in his first five major league games.
Chicago (40-54) scored three times in the eighth, highlighted by John Baker’s two-run double, but Jordan Walden got Junior Lake to fly out to center with a runner on second for the final out of the inning.
All-Star Craig Kimbrel then worked the ninth for his 29th save in 33 opportunities.
Teheran pitched seven innings in his first start since a rough outing against the Mets. The right-hander lasted just 3 1-3 innings in an 8-3 loss at New York on Tuesday.
Teheran (9-6) retired 12 in a row after Chicago put runners on first and second with two out in the first. He allowed seven hits and walked two while improving to 2-0 in four career starts against the Cubs.
Because he started on Sunday, he’s ineligible to pitch in the All-Star game Tuesday.
Wood was charged with seven runs and seven hits in six innings. The left-hander is 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA in his last five starts.
Wood issued leadoff walks in the second, third and fourth innings, and the first two were costly. Gerald Laird had a two-run double in Atlanta’s three-run second, and Jason Heyward singled home a run before Johnson connected in the third.
Johnson’s sixth homer was part of his 30th multihit game of the season. The third baseman was walked intentionally in the seventh to get to Tommy La Stella, who doubled home three runs to give the Braves a 10-2 lead.
The 34-year-old Uggla has played sparingly since La Stella was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett on May 28. The three-time All-Star is batting .162 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 48 games.
Gonzalez said he expects Uggla to be with the team when it resumes play on Friday night against the Phillies. He also isn’t worried about the effect of the suspension on his team.
“I don’t think so. I got a pretty good pulse of our clubhouse,” he said. “If anybody wants to talk to me, my door is always open. And they know that.”
NOTES: Atlanta also promoted INF Phil Gosselin from Gwinnett before the game. … Wood will start Chicago’s second game after the All-Star break. RHP Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.64 ERA) starts the series opener Friday night, and RHP Jake Arrieta (5-1, 1.95 ERA) pitches next Sunday against the Diamondbacks. … RHP Ervin Santana (7-6, 4.01 ERA) will start Friday night against Philadelphia in Atlanta’s first game after the break. But Gonzalez said he wasn’t sure just yet how the rest of the rotation would line up.
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