The Braves only recorded three hits on Wednesday night against the struggling Randy Wells and the Cubs bullpen in a 3-2 defeat.
Chicago scored all three runs in the second inning. Alfonso Soriano hit a deep two-run homer to center field on a changeup at the knee caps. That should have been all the scoring the Cubs would do, but an error by Dan Uggla, stolen base, balk and infield groundout from the pitcher would bring in Tony Campana for the third run of the game.
Derek Lowe struggled early, but worked seven strong innings. As a matter of fact, it was one of his best starts of the year. He allowed four hits and four walks on the night, and did so with six strikeouts. Two of the three runs were earned and it was another step forward to rediscovering his brilliance from last September and October.
Chipper Jones continued his strong play in the seventh and hit a solo-home run to center field to finally get Atlanta on the board. Alex Gonzalez followed in the eighth with a solo shot of his own. Dan Uggla reached on a hit-by-pitch to lead off the ninth, but Freddie Freeman, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward were unable to do anything at the plate to drive him in.
The winning streak is snapped at six, though the Phillies also lost and the deficit in the NL East remains at 6.5 games.
Atlanta will go for the series victory in a matinee matchup Thursday afternoon. It will be Brandon Beachy against Matt Garza in what figures to be a pitching duel. First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. EDT.