After dropping two of three games to the Chicago Cubs, the Atlanta Braves had to be worrying about their trip to St. Louis to face the Cardinals. The Cardinals have been one of the best teams all season and the Braves offense looked stale in the series with the Cubs. The Braves went into Busch Field this past weekend and swept the National League Central leading Cardinals. In the process, the Braves earned a 0.5 game lead in the NL East ahead of the Washington Nationals. Who were the biggest stars in the series sweep for Atlanta?
Bourn started the season off slow, but has recovered to become one of the top players in the league. He will never be like Josh Hamilton in power numbers, but he provides a Hamilton-like impact in other facets of the game. In the series with the Cardinals, the former Houston Astro went 8-for-17 with his first home run of the season, one double, three RBIs and three runs. He helped raise his average to .336, which ties him for eighth in the NL.
Last year, Uggla was one of the biggest disappointments in the league, making most Atlanta fans I know hate the trade that sent the reliable Omar Infante to the Marlins. He still had a great season in terms of power numbers (36 home runs), but his .233 average didn't warrant the new contract the team gave him. In the series with the Cardinals, Uggla went 5-for-13 with a homer, two doubles, three RBIs, three walks and five runs, but most importantly, raising his average to .281.
Beachy continues to be one of the top starting pitchers of the 2012 season. He picked up the win in the second game of the series, defeating former Atlanta prospect, Adam Wainwright. Beachy went six innings, allowing just one earned run on two hits and four walks with six strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 1.60, which is third best in the NL. He improved his record to 4-1 and continues to be the best pitcher in the Atlanta rotation.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.