Uggla will attempt to hit safely in his 33rd consecutive game and lead the Braves to a season high-tying sixth straight win Saturday night against the potentially distracted Chicago Cubs.
In spectacular fashion, Uggla became the first Atlanta player with a 32-game hit streak Friday, going 3 for 3 with two solo homers in a 10-4 victory.
The performance was a big boost to the Braves (70-49) as they retired former manager Bobby Cox’s No. 6 and mourned the passing of 87-year-old former player and broadcaster Ernie Johnson Sr.
Uggla, who surpassed Rico Carty’s 31-game run in 1970, is batting .370 with 14 homers and 31 RBIs over the last 32 games after hitting .173 over his previous 86. His streak is the second-longest in franchise history behind Tommy Holmes’ 37 in a row with the Boston Braves in 1945 and the longest in the majors since Chase Utley’s(notes) 35-gamer in 2006.
“It’s crazy,” Uggla said after his second straight three-hit game. “It’s not one of the things I set for a goal when I came over here.”
With his second baseman’s help, Derek Lowe(notes) (7-10, 4.78 ERA) will try to win consecutive starts for the second time this season. The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits over six innings during an 8-5 win in Florida on Monday after going 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA over his previous three outings.
Lowe is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in his last seven starts against the Cubs (51-68), including a win in the opener of the 2008 NL division series with Los Angeles.
The right-hander gave up a career-high five home runs Friday and was ejected after throwing a pair of brushback pitches at Chipper Jones(notes) in the fifth inning. He then cleaned out his locker and reportedly said he was retiring before leaving Turner Field.
“I’m running a ballgame and I’ve got 24 guys I care about, so I didn’t have time to speak to him,” manager Mike Quade said. “I come in here and I see an empty locker. I figure he’s decided he’s had enough.”
Randy Wells(notes) (3-4, 6.05) will try to lift his team’s spirits by bouncing back from yet another rough outing. The right-hander gave up six runs for the third time this season Sunday but did not get a decision in an 8-7 loss to Cincinnati.
“(Wells was) not real sharp, obviously. We talked about how important it is for him to keep the ball down,” Quade told the team’s website. “There were some fly-ball outs and balls hit in the air that usually indicate he’s not as consistent as he needs to be.”
The Braves hit three balls over the fence against Wells during a 16-5 rout Aug. 22. Before giving up seven runs in that game, the right-hander was 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts against Atlanta.
Uggla is 1 for 2 with a walk in his career against Wells and 10 for 26 (.385) with four homers in his last eight games versus the Cubs.