Now that the Atlanta Braves finally have their main offensive weapons healthy, the results are showing up on the scoreboard and in the win column. Dan Uggla hit two home runs and Brandon Beachy pitched six strong innings as the Braves used their newfound offensive prowess to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 Saturday night.
Uggla continued his torrid second half by hitting a two-run homer to give the Braves a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. He would later go back-to-back with Freddie Freeman in the seventh inning to increase his home run total to 29 on the season. After a very forgettable first half during which his batting average dipped to .173, Uggla's numbers are creeping towards his career line. He is now one homer shy of hitting 30 homers for the fifth straight season.
“That’s why you play the full season, whether it’s going bad or it’s going good, you’ve got to stay humble, stay positive and keep going in the right direction," Uggla said. "And stick with your routine. I think more times than not if you stay strong mentally, you’re going to be able to battle back and help your team out.”
Beachy had another solid pitching performance, giving up only one run in six innings to go along with seven strikeouts. He even helped himself with a two-out RBI single in the second inning. It was Beachy's second career hit and first RBI.
“He did a terrific job," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He gave us a heck of an outing. Our offense kept plugging away, kept putting numbers up and extending that lead."
As dominating as Beachy was, the offense was the true bright spot in this game. Freeman's solo homer pushed his season total to 17, and Martin Prado seemed well-rested after his day off on Friday with a 3-for-4 night, including two doubles and a walk. Michael Bourn also added two hits and two runs from the leadoff spot.
“This is the run we’ve been looking for," Uggla said. "The offense has been rolling, we’re getting good starts out of our pitchers. The whole team is doing what we need to be doing in order to win games.”
The offensive outburst allowed the Braves to get a win while also affording Gonzalez the opportunity to rest the key cogs in the bullpen. George Sherrill, Cristhian Martinez, and Scott Linebrink closed out the game with three scoreless innings.
The Braves will look to sweep the Diamondbacks when they send Tim Hudson (12-7, 3.13 ERA) to the hill to face Josh Collmenter (7-7, 3.47 ERA) Sunday afternoon at 1:35 EDT.
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