Uggla helps Braves knock off Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Dan Uggla hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 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.
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.
Kris Medlen (1-0) pitched 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.
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 off Randall Delgado.
Delgado left after Soriano’s hit, posting his second consecutive solid outing. The right-hander allowed three hits, struck out five and walked three, but remained winless since he beat the Mets on April 17.
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.