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Derek Lowe Rough Again as Chicago Cubs Beat Atlanta Braves

August 14th, 2011 at 8:23 AM
By Cody Fields

Although Dan Uggla extended his hititing streak to 33 games, it was not enough to save another rough outing from Derek Lowe, as the Chicago Cubs evened the weekend series with the Atlanta Braves.

Lowe was off from the start, as Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney led off the game with singles and Castro was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Aramis Ramirez. Though he limped through the next three innings, Carlos Pena hit a two-run double in the fifth inning.

Lowe's troubles were capped in the sixth after he gave up a one-out triple to Tyler Colvin on a deep flyball that Michael Bourn had in his glove until he crashed into the center field wall, causing the ball to pop out. Geovany Soto then hit a groundball with the infield pulled in. Chipper Jones tried to get Colvin at the plate, but threw the ball to the backstop.

After Randy Wells sacrificed to get Soto to second, Castro drove him in with a single, the final of the 10 hits and five runs Lowe gave up in six innings.

"I felt way worse last year than I do now, but you’re getting the same results," Lowe said. "That’s the head-scratching thing."

Lowe went into September last season with a record of 11-12, a 4.53 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .278. He won all five September 2010 while allowing four runs over 30 2/3 innings.

"You've got eight starts left," Lowe said. "We're in a good position as a team."

Uggla had put the Braves in good position when he tied the game in the fourth inning with a solo shot . He had already extended his hitting streak to 33 games in the first inning with a single off Wells.

"I ain’t complaining about getting them out of the way in the first inning either," Uggla said about easing his teammates' nerves by extending the streak early in the game. "It takes a little bit of the edge off."

Jones also looked like the Chipper of old with a three-hit performance – including two doubles – to bring his average up to .273. Jones also drove in Martin Prado with a sacrifice in the bottom of the ninth to bring the score to its 8-4 final.

The Philadelphia Phillies's win puts them back to 8.5 games in front of the Braves, though the Braves are still five games in front of the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card race.

Brandon Beachy (5-2, 3.43 ERA) will pitch for the Braves against Matt Garza (5-9, 3.81 ERA) in the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1:35 EDT.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe, MLB

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