Dan Uggla’s hitting streak ended at 33 games this afternoon as the Cubs defeated the Braves 6-5 in Atlanta. The Braves bullpen wasted another good starting performance from Brandon Beachy.
Michael Bourn led off the Braves first with a single. Martin Prado hit a grounder that pitcher Matt Garza fielded and promptly threw into right center field to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. After Brian McCann struck out, Dan Uggla hit a RBI(62) sac fly to left to make it 1-0.
With one out in the Braves second, Alex Gonzalez and Jose Constanza hit back to back infield singles. After Beachy struck out, Bourn hit a RBI single. Constanza got caught in between 2nd and 3rd on the play, but Aramis Ramirez’s throw hit him in the back on the rundown allowing Constanza to take third. Prado then singled him in (44 RBIs) to make it 3-0.
In the Cubs 4th with 2 on and 2 out, Jason Heyward made a great diving catch in right to save 2 runs. Constanza led off the Braves 4th with a walk, then stole second and third (5 SB). After Beachy struck out, Bourn hit a RBI single (40 RBIs) to make it 4-0.
In the Cubs 6th, Beachy gave up back to back singles to Barney and Ramirez putting runners at first and third with no outs. After Beachy allowed a sac fly RBI to Pena, Fredi Gonzalez put Scott Linebrink in. Linebrink was fresh off the 15 day DL for his back and he looked rusty. He gave up 3 consecutive singles to Byrd, Soriano, and Colvin. Colvin’s single scored two and left runners at first and third. Fredi then brought in rookie Arodys Vizcaino. He struck out Soto. While pinch hitter DeWitt was batting, a wild pitch got away from McCann tying the score at 4-4. Vizcaino went on to strike out DeWitt, but the ball again got away from McCann so DeWitt took first. Vizcaino then struck out Castro.
The Braves came back in their half of the sixth. Jason Heyward led off with a single and stole second (6 SB). Alex Gonzalez hit a grounder to pitcher Grabow that he threw wild to first on allowing Heyward to score putting the Braves back in front 5-4. Unfortunately, Eric O’Flaherty came on in the 7th and allowed a single to Barney followed by a 2 run homer to Pena to make the score 6-5 Cubs. Venters struck out the side in the 8th and Kimbrel struck out the side around a single in the ninth. The game ended on a Prado foul pop to Ramirez with Bourn on second.
Beachy again deserved better. He went 5 1/3 innings allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, and 8 Ks on 102 pitches. The Cubs really should have lost this game. They struck out 18 times and made 4 errors.
After Uggla’s sac fly in the first, he popped out to first base in the 3rd. His best chance at a hit came in the fifth when second baseman Barney ran all the way out to right field to make a diving catch on Uggla’s pop fly. He grounded out to short in the seventh.
Standings: The Braves are now 9 games behind the Phillies. We are 4 games up on the Giants for the wild card lead and 5 1/2 games up on the Cardinals (pending their game tonight with the Rockies on ESPN).
Upcoming: The Braves and Tim Hudson welcome the Giants to town tomorrow night at 7:10 for the first of a crucial 4 game series. It’s likely Randall Delgado will pitch Tuesday (for Tommy Hanson) and Jair Jurrjens will return from the DL to pitch Wednesday.