Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 33 games but that is where the feel good story ended for the Braves tonight as they went down in defeat 8-4 to the Chicago Cubs. Derek Lowe once again takes the loss for Atlanta after giving up three earned runs over six innings of work.
Chicago wasted little time putting a run on the board in the first inning against Lowe. Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney led off the game with singles and Aramis Ramirez plated the first run with a sacrifice fly. Lowe then rallied to retire Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd to escape the inning with no further damage.
In the Braves' half of the inning, Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 33 games with a solid single to center that put runners at the corners before Chipper Jones flied out to end the inning. Then in the fourth, Uggla tied the game with his 27th home run of the season. Chipper Jones followed with a double but was then thrown out at third on an Alex Gonzalez grounder to shortstop. It was the first of a few mental mistakes for Atlanta in the game. David Ross followed with a single that would have likely scored Chipper and Jose Constanza and Lowe grounded out to end the threat.
Chicago would reclaim the lead in the fifth with three straight two out hits off of Lowe. Darwin Barney and Aramis Ramirez both scored on a Carlos Pena double giving the Cubs a 3-1 lead.
Lowe ran into some bad luck in the sixth when Tyler Colvin hit a deep drive that Michael Bourn originally caught but couldn't hold onto while crashing into the centerfield wall that was scored a triple. Geovany Soto followed with a ground ball to Chipper at third who overthrew David Ross at home plate with Colvin scoring on the play. After a Randy Wells sacrifice, Starlin Castro singled home Soto extending the Cubs lead to 5-1.
The Braves would get one run back in the sixth as Alex Gonzalez chased Randy Wells from the game with an RBI single that scored Dan Uggla making the score 5-2. Wells was replaced by Jeff Samardzija who retired the next three Atlanta hitters in order.
Chicago blew the game wide open in the eighth scoring three more times thanks in part to an error in left field by Martin Prado and a couple of more RBI singles from Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro. By the time the inning had ended Atlanta would trail 8-2.
The Braves plated a single run in the eighth on a Jose Constanza ground out and threatened a big rally in the ninth before Carlos Marmol eventually shut them down. After a couple of one out singles by Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla walked to load the bases for Chipper Jones who drove Cubs' right fielder Reed Johnson all the way to the warning track. Prado scored on the play and Alex Gonzalez lined out to shortstop to end it.
Randy Wells evens his record at 4-4 on the season scattering eight hits and two runs over five innings of work. Carlos Marmol records his 27th save of the season. Lowe sees his record drop to 7-11 on the season pitching six innings, allowing 10 hits, and five runs of which three were earned.
Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney combined to go 8 for 10 on the night with three RBI's and two runs scored. Chipper Jones went 3 for 4 for the Braves with two doubles. Freddie Freeman, Dan Uggla, and David Ross each had two hits for the Braves.
Atlanta will turn to Brandon Beachy on Sunday to try and nail down a series win against the Cubs. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.