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Dan Uggla Extends Hit Streak to 20 Games, Powers Atlanta Braves Past Florida Marlins

July 30th, 2011 at 7:24 AM
By Cody Fields

Dan Uggla has been unstoppable for the last three weeks, and Friday he punished his former team, helping the Atlanta Braves to a 5-0 win over the Florida Marlins.

Uggla extended his already career-long 20-game hitting streak to 20 games when he belted a three-run home run – his 19th of the season – off Clay Hensley in the seventh inning to put the first runs for either team on the board.

Brandon Beachy was solid in his own right, helping give the bullpen some still needed rest by going 7 1/3 innings. He gave up only two hits and three walks and struck out six.

The only trouble Beachy ever had came in the top of the fifth inning, when Logan Morrison drew a lead-off walk, which was followed by Mike Stanton reaching on an error by Alex Gonzalez. Beachy got Mike Cameron to ground into a double play on a full count, so he then intentionally walked John Buck so he could strike out Hensley.

Eric O'Flaherty finished out the seventh for Beachy, lowering his ERA to an absurd 0.91. Linebrink followed with a scoreless ninth, though he allowed Stanton to reach on a double for Florida's only extra-base hit for the night.

With Uggla batting cleanup, the Braves only managed one hit below his spot in the order all night when Brooks Conrad reached on a pinch-hit double in the eighth. That set up Jose Constanza – making his major league debut after seven years in the minors – who singled up the middle to drive in Conrad for his first big league hit and RBI.

Martin Prado followed with his third single of the game, surely a good sign for Braves fans. The speedy Constanza reached third on the hit to set up Freddie Freeman's sacrifice fly to cap off Atlanta's scoring. The sac fly was just the Braves' 12th all year and their first since June 21.

Uggla has hit .342 with seven homers and 15 RBI over the course of his hitting streak. Since the streak started July 5, he has raised his average 36 points to .206.

The Braves kept pace with the Philadelphia Phillies, who pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday, keeping Atlanta within five games of first place.

Tim Hudson (9-7, 3.42 ERA) will take the mound for Saturday's 7:10 EDT start against Florida's Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 3.60 ERA).

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brandon Beachy, Dan Uggla, Eric O'Flaherty, Florida Marlins, Freddie Freeman, Jose Constanza, Martin Prado, MLB

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