|Braves slugger Dan Uggla has shaken off a slow start, raising his batting average from .173 to .220 during a 29-game hitting streak. (Pat Carter/Associated Press)|
Uggla extends hit streak to 29
Dan Uggla often wins praise for his hustle, and a short sprint helped him extend his hitting streak to 29 games last 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 42d stolen base. Freddie Freeman, whose career-best 20-game hitting streak ended Sunday, had a two-run single.
The Marlins fell to 0-5 on their homestand.
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.
Freeman was also thrown out by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt when he complained after being called out on strikes in the eighth. Freeman said it was the first ejection in his life.
Not that many calls seemed to go the home team’s way. Despite a suggestion by Marlins manager Jack McKeon that his players wear road uniforms, they opted for white and fell to 24-37 in home games. They’re 31-23 on the road, the largest such disparity in the majors.
“That is the big mystery - how we can’t win at home,’’ Marlins utilityman Emilio Bonifacio said. “We can’t let that frustrate you. We just have to keep our heads up.’’
Rays 2, Royals 1 - Casey Kotchman led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run to lift Tampa Bay over Kansas City.
Kotchman drove the first pitch from Blake Wood (5-1) over the center-field fence. He also knocked in the other Tampa Bay run with a single that tied it in the seventh. Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth to earn the win.
Luke Hochevar allowed one run and five hits over seven innings for the Royals.
Rays rookie Jeremy Hellickson, 3-0 in four starts during July, gave up one run and six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
Rangers 9, Mariners 2 - Matt Harrison pitched seven strong innings for his career-high 10th victory and Nelson Cruz homered for host Texas.
Harrison (10-8) allowed two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 104-degree heat, surpassing his nine-win rookie season in 2008.
Cruz, Mitch Moreland, and Yorvit Torrealba all had three hits for the Rangers.
Texas scored twice in the second against rookie Charlie Furbush (1-1) with the help of the Mariners’ second error of the night. Furbush allowed seven runs - six earned - and eight hits over four-plus innings in his second start since he was acquired from Detroit.
Rockies 10, Reds 7 - Carlos Gonzalez’s two-run homer - Colorado’s fourth overall - broke an eighth-inning tie and toppled host Cincinnati in a game that featured a long rain delay and seven homers in all.
Rain delayed the game 1 hour, 34 minutes in the middle of the third inning. It was the first rain delay of the season at Great American Ball Park.
White Sox 7, Orioles 6 - A.J. Pierzynski homered and drove in three runs, and Alex Rios singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to help visiting Chicago to its fourth straight victory.
Gordon Beckham also connected for the White Sox, who blew a four-run lead before rallying to secure their season-high sixth consecutive road win.
Mets 9, Padres 8 - Lucas Duda’s two-run single capped a three-run ninth against All-Star closer Heath Bell, and banged-up New York rallied past visiting San Diego.
Phillies 5, Dodgers 3 - Roy Halladay allowed a run over 6 1/3 innings to improve to 15-4, and Shane Victorino had a solo homer among his three hits for visiting Philadelphia.
Pirates 5, Giants 0 - Charlie Morton and Jose Veras combined on a six-hitter and visiting Pittsburgh snapped a 10-game losing streak.
Astros 9, Diamondbacks 1 - Wandy Rodriguez allowed two hits over six innings and J.D. Martinez homered as Houston rolled over Arizona in Phoenix.
Last night’s game between the Cubs and the Nationals in Chicago was postponed because of rain. The game was called after a 32-minute delay. It will be made up Thursday at 1:20 p.m.