Braves 3, Cubs 1

Randall Delgado is proving to be a quick study, and Atlanta

manager Fredi Gonzalez thinks the rookie right-hander has a bright

future ahead of him.

Delgado turned in another solid start and Dan Uggla hit a

tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning to lead the Braves

to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

Michael Bourn reached on a leadoff single and Kerry Wood issued

two walks before Uggla drove a 1-1 pitch back up the middle for his

third hit of the game. Freddie Freeman helped set up the big inning

by hustling down the line to prevent a potential double play.

”I was just trying to get something in the air towards the

middle of the field and it ended up finding a hole,” Uggla said.

”That’s what we needed.”

Wood (0-2) has struggled since he was sidelined for three weeks

with right shoulder fatigue, yielding two runs in each of his two

outings since he was activated from the disabled list on

Thursday.

He threw his hat and glove into the stands as he left the field

Tuesday, then cut short a postgame interview when asked about the

display.

”Shoulder’s great, that’s the frustrating thing,” he said

earlier. ”I bounced back from the injection and shoulder feels

great. I actually threw some good curveballs tonight for the first

time in a while. It’s all about results, it didn’t happen

tonight.”

Delgado allowed one run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings, and is

winless since he beat the Mets on April 17. He pitched eight

innings of two-run ball in his previous start, but the Braves lost

4-0 to Philadelphia.

”I think he’s pitching terrific,” Gonzalez said. ”Every game

he’s pitched I think he’s learned something.”

Kris Medlen (1-0) tossed a perfect seventh, Jonny Venters worked

out of a jam in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel finished for his 10th

save in 11 chances.

The Cubs wasted another effective outing by Ryan Dempster, who

struck out seven in seven innings. The right-hander yielded just

one run and six hits, but remained winless on the year and his ERA

actually increased a tick, from 0.95 to 1.02.

”I just try to execute my pitches and control the innings,” he

said. ”The other stuff you can’t worry about. You can only control

one thing when you’re on the mound and that’s trying to put the

ball where you want to put it. If you do that, more often than not,

you’ll get good results. The more good results you get, the more

wins you’ll get.”

Atlanta put at least one runner on in five of Dempster’s

innings, but struggled to score for the second straight game.

Freeman was particularly unlucky, hitting a liner right at

shortstop Starlin Castro with a runner on in the fourth and another

rocket right to Dempster in the sixth.

The Braves finally got on the board in the fifth. Jason Heyward

led off with a drive into the right-field corner for his third

triple of the season, then scampered home on Tyler Pastornicky’s

sacrifice fly to right.

It was the second run in 15 innings for Atlanta, which lost 5-1

in the series opener on Monday night.

The Cubs responded in the sixth. Tony Campana led off with a

single to left for Chicago’s second hit of the game. He moved up on

Bryan LaHair’s bouncer to second and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s

two-out double.

Soriano was the last batter for the 22-year-old Delgado, who

struck out five and walked three.

”I work in my bullpen and try to do the same in the game,” he

said, ”and I think it’s working right now.”

The Cubs put runners on first and third in the eighth, but

shortstop Jack Wilson made a nice turn on LaHair’s double-play

grounder to second to end the threat.

”How about that play Wilson made?” Gonzalez said. ”It’s first

and third and you’re staring at Soriano in a two-run game in the

eighth inning if you don’t turn that double play. I don’t know how

many guys can do that.”

NOTES: Braves 3B Chipper Jones made a nice diving stop to rob

Dempster of a hit in the third inning. … Cubs president of

baseball operations Theo Epstein on struggling reliever Carlos

Marmol: ”I haven’t seen any signs of him backing down, so as long

as he gives the effort and faces his challenges head on we’re going

to support him and help him get where he needs to be to help us.”

… Bourn extended his hitting streak to 12 games.