Dan Uggla is still not hitting his weight, but the Braves second baseman more than pulled his weight during the weekend at Dodger Stadium. Uggla hit two home runs and drove in four runs Sunday in an 8-1 Braves rout of the Dodgers, giving him three homers in consecutive wins that earned Atlanta a split of the four-game series. “You always want to feel like you matter and feel like you’re a factor,” said Uggla, who broke a 1-all tie with a three-run homer in the third inning. “It sucks when you feel like I’ve felt a lot this year, like a nonfactor. Get some homers, get some runs, drive in some runs — it feels good.” Hot-hitting Freddie Freeman added a three-run double in the fourth inning and Mike Minor (8-2) worked out of an early jam and allowed one run and six hits in six innings for the Braves, who won for the 17th time in 23 games. The Braves will finish the California trip with a three-game series at San Diego that starts Monday. “Mikey pitched well today, and we worked some walks and got some timely hits,” said Freeman, who has batted .386 in his past 14 games, and has 16 extra-base hits and 31 RBIs in his past 34 games. “We didn’t get the most hits, but we got them when we needed it.” Uggla went 2-for-2 with two walks and four RBIs in his first multihomer game of the season. He raised his average 10 points, to .193, with his first consecutive games with homers this season. He has 13 homers, tied with Evan Gattis for second on the team, one behind Justin Upton. “He’s swinging it pretty good right now,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who has taken a lot of criticism for sticking with Uggla in the every-day lineup. “That’s the stuff he can do, right there. What we saw today. He can run the ball out of the ballpark and get your three runs in a hurry.” The Braves trailed 1-0 before Gattis tied the score with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the third inning. Uggla followed one batter later with a shot to the left-field seats off Dodgers rookie Matt Magill (0-2), who started in place of left-hander Ted Lilly after the veteran was scratched due to a neck injury. Magill lasted just 3 2/3 innings and was charged with four hits, six walks and seven runs, four of them unearned following an error by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the third inning. Freeman’s bases-loaded double to the left-center warning track turned a three-run lead into a six-run margin, which almost felt like overkill the way Minor has pitched. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his past eight starts, part of a Braves rotation that’s allowed three earned runs in 35 innings (0.77 ERA) over the past five games. “I thought Michael was outstanding, especially after that first inning,” Gonzalez said. “He got himself on the ropes, but this is the stuff we were talking about earlier — the Michael Minor of the past would have given up a big (inning).” Minor has been a different pitcher since the first two months of the 2012 season, going 15-6 with a 2.32 ERA in 28 starts since the beginning of July.
Uggla homers twice, Minor wins again as Braves split series with Dodgers
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jun 10