Brian McCann entered the game hitting .159 since returning from the disabled list and blaming Monday night's loss on himself, but his three-run shot in the sixth off Florida starter Brad Hand was enough to get the Braves back on track in the Wild Card race.
Dan Uggla drew a one-out walk, which was followed by a Matt Diaz single, allowing McCann to put the 2-0 pitch in the seats. McCann partially credits the change in luck to a new choice of lumber.
"“I went to a little bit lighter bat. This time of year, I had to go to a little bit lighter bat to try to manipulate it the way I need to do to be successful," McCann said.
Uggla would then add his own three-run homer in the seventh. The bomb was his 34th of the season, a new career high for the second baseman that seemed a remote possibility when he hit .174 through July 4.
" It was hard sometimes, but if you stay positive, stay the course, keep doing your work, if you keep the right mindset and don’t get down on yourself and believe in your heart it’s going to turn around, it usually does in some sort of way," Uggla said.
Alex Gonzalez continued his hot hitting with his second straight three-hit game, including a double in the eighth that led to a Michael Bourn sacrifice fly. Gonzalez is hitting .375 in his last 10 games.
Peter Moylan also picked up a win after throwing only 1/3 of an inning, replacing Mike Minor in the sixth. Though Minor had only given up a single run on 88 pitches, he walked four, resulting in a hook from Fredi Gonzalez.
"It’s one of those situations where every game is important now. If you were another team, that wasn’t in the hunt, maybe you give him that opportunity to mature or get through those innings, but we’re not those teams. We need to get every win. All hands on board. Either way I think we got better for it," Gonzalez said.
The Braves maintained their 4.5 game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card race, also keeping their magic number at 10.
Randall Delgado (0-1, 3.60) will look to secure the series win opposite Ricky Nolasco (10-10, 4.40 ERA) at 12:05 EDT.
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