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Atlanta at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
Atlanta (39-24) «004310000870
L.A. Dodgers (27-35)100000000181

Braves earn split in LA behind pair of Uggla home runs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Dan Uggla's batting average is the last thing on his mind. The slugging second baseman prefers to concentrate on home runs, RBI and the Atlanta Braves' comfortable lead atop the NL East.

Uggla had two homers and four RBI in an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. It was the 18th multihomer game for the three-time All-Star and his second this year.

Since the start of the 2006 season, his first in the majors, Uggla leads all players at his position with 222 home runs -- 42 more than Yankees slugger Robinson Cano. He entered this four-game series hitting .183.

"The batting average is what it is," Uggla said. "I mean, it ain't the first time I've hit .180, .170, .160, whatever. But I throw those numbers out the door. The way I look at it, we're eight games up right now -- and that's without me doing anything at all. But I know what I'm capable of doing. And if I can be more consistent and help these guys out by driving in some runs, that's all that matters.

"You always want to feel like you matter and feel like you were a factor. There were a lot of times this year where I didn't. So to get some homers and drive in some runs feels good," he added.

Freddie Freeman drove in three runs with a double and Mike Minor kept the Braves' rotation rolling with six solid innings. Atlanta had an eight-game lead over second-place Washington -- the largest of any division leader -- pending the nightcap of the Nationals' doubleheader against Minnesota.

The Braves, who won the season series 5-2, grabbed a 4-1 lead with four runs in the third against rookie Matt Magill (0-2). All of them were unearned because of an error by three-time Gold Glove first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who fielded Justin Upton's dribbler a few feet from the foul line and dropped the ball while making a hurried attempt to tag him. It was his seventh error, two more than he had last season.

Freeman's single loaded the bases, and Evan Gattis followed with a sacrifice fly before Uggla drove a 2-1 pitch into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field. He led off the fifth against Ronald Belisario with his 13th of the season and third in two days.

"He's a veteran player, he's been around a while and he's seen every kind of pitch. So nothing can fool him," Magill said. "But if you don't have good command, you can't get anybody out."

Minor (8-2) allowed a run and six hits, struck out six and walked three while helping the Braves gain a split of the four-game series. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA over his last seven starts.

Atlanta's rotation has yielded four runs in 37 1/3 innings spanning the team's last six games. The stretch includes eight innings of one-hit ball by rookie Julio Teheran -- who came within four outs of a no-hitter on Wednesday against Pittsburgh -- and back-to-back starts by Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm in which each allowed one run in Braves losses.

"It's just a friendly competition among everybody. You always want to top the guy before you," Minor said.

Magill was charged with seven runs -- three earned -- and four hits over 3 2/3 innings in his sixth major-league start, none of which the Dodgers have won. The 23-year-old right-hander from Simi Valley, Calif., issued six walks, giving him 28 in 27 2/3 innings and a 6.51 ERA.

He was recalled Sunday from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill in for Ted Lilly, who wasn't able to pitch because of a neck sprain and was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season.

"It's tough not being able to have a set schedule and not being able to pitch every five days," said Magill, who gave up nine walks last Sunday at Colorado in a 7-2 loss. "But when they need you here, you've got to make sacrifices and still be able to compete. That's why it's so frustrating, because I'm not giving myself a chance to win games. I know in my head I can do it, but my body's just not hooking up right now the way I want it to and my fastball command hasn't been there."

Atlanta increased the margin to 7-1 in the fourth when Magill loaded the bases with his second walk of the inning and gave up Freeman's three-run double just beyond the outstretched glove of center fielder Skip Schumaker after getting a visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

"When you've got bases loaded and two outs, you just want to try and get at least one more run," said Freeman, second in the NL in hitting with runners in scoring position. "I'm not trying to do anything differently with guys on base. I just try to hit the ball hard every single at-bat, and for some reason they seem to fall with people on. I was fortunate to get one in the gap and luckily he didn't make that play. It's always nice to kind of blow it open a little bit and let Mike settle in."

Los Angeles loaded the bases with none out in the first on the first of three hits by electrifying rookie Yasiel Puig, a bunt single by Nick Punto and a walk to Gonzalez. Puig was forced at the plate on a grounder and Luis Cruz struck out, but Schumaker drove in Punto with an infield single. That extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games, the longest by a Dodgers player this season.

Notes

  • Puig completed his first week in the majors with 13 hits in 28 at-bats, four homers and 10 RBI in seven games.
  • Minor is 13-2 with a 2.33 ERA in his last 20 starts, a stretch that began after his 5-0 loss to the Dodgers on Aug. 19.
  • Schumaker started in CF for the seventh time this season, with Andre Ethier getting the day off and Matt Kemp still on the DL.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mike Minor improves to 8-2 with six solid innings, as the Braves starters have yielded just four runs in their last six games. (USATSI)
Mike Minor improves to 8-2 with six solid innings, as the Braves starters have yielded just four runs in their last six games. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

Y. Puig
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Atlanta

D. Uggla
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrelton Simmons, SS5010011 .259
Jason Heyward, RF3220201 .200
Justin Upton, LF3200221 .247
Freddie Freeman, 1B5123002 .315
Evan Gattis, C3001003 .258
    Alex Wood, P0000000 .000
   a- Reed Johnson, PH1000001 .258
    David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
Dan Uggla, 2B2224200 .193
Ramiro Pena, 3B3000011 .303
    Chris Johnson, 3B1000011 .323
Jordan Schafer, CF4000020 .297
Mike Minor, P2100101 .115
    Gerald Laird, C1000000 .271
Totals3387877  
a-flied out for Wood in the 9th
Batting
2B - Freddie Freeman (12, Magill)
HR - Dan Uggla 2 (13, Magill, Belisario)
SF - Evan Gattis (3)
RBI - Freddie Freeman 3 (43), Evan Gattis (34), Dan Uggla 4 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman 3 (22), Dan Uggla 3 (11)
Team LOB - 6
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor (W,8-2) 6611360 2.44
Alex Wood 2100030 1.59
David Carpenter 1100110 1.59
WP - Mike Minor (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 100-61, Alex Wood 31-23, David Carpenter 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 5-7, Alex Wood 3-0
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 27, Alex Wood 7, David Carpenter 5
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Yasiel Puig, RF-CF5030001 .464
Nick Punto, SS-2B4110112 .285
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B2010201 .317
    Paco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1000012 .254
Scott Van Slyke, LF4000016 .221
Luis Cruz, 3B-SS4010014 .140
Skip Schumaker, CF-RF3011122 .281
Tim Federowicz, C4000025 .184
Mark Ellis, 2B3010000 .258
    Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Hernandez, 1B1000000 .205
Matt Magill, P1000010 .000
    Ronald Belisario, P1000000 .000
   b- Juan Uribe, PH-3B2000010 .270
Totals35181410  
a-struck out for Moylan in the 9th
b-struck out for Belisario in the 6th
Batting
2B - Yasiel Puig (2, Wood), Luis Cruz (2, Minor)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (12)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker (4)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Punto-Gonzalez
E - Adrian Gonzalez (7, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Magill (L,0-2) 3.2473621 6.51
Ronald Belisario 2.1211021 3.86
Matt Guerrier 1000110 3.24
Paco Rodriguez 1000010 3.80
Peter Moylan 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Magill 84-43, Ronald Belisario 36-22, Matt Guerrier 16-8, Paco Rodriguez 16-10, Peter Moylan 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Magill 4-6, Ronald Belisario 3-1, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Paco Rodriguez 2-0
Batters Faced - Matt Magill 22, Ronald Belisario 8, Matt Guerrier 4, Paco Rodriguez 3, Peter Moylan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39028
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor