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Uggla streaks reaches 33, but comes in 8-4 loss to Cubs

Chipper Jones, left, congratulates Dan Uggla after Uggla blasted a home run in Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Cubs. Uggla extended his major-league best hitting streak a few innings earlier to 33.

Chipper Jones, left, congratulates Dan Uggla after Uggla blasted a home run in Saturday's 8-4 loss to the Cubs. Uggla extended his major-league best hitting streak a few innings earlier to 33.

ATLANTA -- Dan Uggla again took care of extending his hitting streak early in the game. This time, it wasn't enough to spark another Atlanta win.

The latest entry in Uggla's improbable hitting streak was not enough as Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney each had four hits to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Braves 8-4 on Saturday night.

Uggla had a first-inning single and a fourth-inning homer off Randy Wells (4-4) to extend his hitting streak to 33 games.

"It doesn't seem to be fazing him at all," said Braves catcher David Ross. "I'd be a nervous wreck."

The majors' longest streak this season began on July 5 when Uggla was hitting .173. The longest streak in Atlanta Braves history has lifted Uggla's average to .232.

"You look over the 33 days, he's getting the infield singles, he's hit the ball out, he's done it all," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "He's swinging the bat good now. Good for him."

Uggla hasn't been waiting until late in the game to snap the tension that has been building in the Braves' clubhouse.

"I ain't complaining about getting it out of the way in the first inning, either," Uggla said. "I guess it does take a little bit of the edge off.

"I'm excited to come out on the field every day. I'm excited to compete. ... My focus isn't on trying to continue the streak. My focus is on winning."

Castro drove in two runs and Wells gave up two runs on eight hits in five-plus innings for the Cubs, who have won 10 of 13.

Derek Lowe (7-11) gave up five runs on 10 hits in six innings. He allowed three hits, including Carlos Pena's two-run double that gave Chicago a 3-1 lead in the fifth.

Pena's hit was the one Lowe wished he could take back. He kicked the dirt on the first-base line in disgust as he left the field at the end of the inning.

Lowe said the plan was to avoid giving Pena a pitch to hit.

"We had avoided him to that point," Lowe said. "We should have made a different (pitch) choice."

James Russell walked Uggla to load the bases with one out in the ninth after giving up singles to Martin Prado and Freddie Freeman.

Cubs manager Mike Quade brought in closer Carlos Marmol, who gave up a long fly ball to Chipper Jones to drive in Prado before ending the game when Alex Gonzalez hit a pop fly to Castro at shortstop. Marmol earned his 27th save.

The Cubs won after general manager Jim Hendry announced the team placed right-hander Carlos Zambrano on the disqualified list. Zambrano will not be paid and have no part in team activities for 30 days.

Zambrano cleaned out his locker and left the team after giving up five homers and being ejected from Friday night's 10-4 loss to the Braves. He did not return to the team Saturday.

Quade said he wasn't surprised when his team responded to the controversy with a win.

"You know what? I'm never surprised at these guys," Quade said. "They just come to the park and play.

"They just go about their business. And that's a good thing. No distractions. Let's just play."

The Cubs added two runs in the sixth. Tyler Colvin led off with a triple to center. Atlanta's Michael Bourn had the long drive in the top of his glove before losing the ball when he crashed into the wall.

Colvin scored on Geovany Soto's grounder to third. Chipper Jones threw high to the plate and was initially charged with an error. After the game, Soto was awarded an RBI when the error was changed to a fielder's choice grounder. Soto scored on Castro's single.

A fielding miscue by left fielder Martin Prado hurt the Braves in the eighth. After Alfonso Soriano led off the inning with an infield hit, Colvin hit a liner that skipped off the charging Prado's glove for an error, allowing pinch-runner Tony Campana to advance to third.

Right-hander Cristhian Martinez fielded pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt's grounder and threw to the plate, but Campana slid under Ross' tag. Castro and Barney added run-scoring singles.

Uggla was hit by a pitch before scoring on Alex Gonzalez's single in the sixth. Jones, who had three hits, doubled and scored on a groundout by Jose Constanza in the eighth.

Rico Carty hit in 31 straight games in 1970 for the previous Atlanta record. Tommy Holmes holds the franchise record with 37 as a member of the Boston Braves in 1945.

Uggla leads the Braves and is one off the National League lead with 27 homers, including 12 in 27 games since the All-Star break.

According to STATS LLC, Uggla's homer was his 49th hit in the 33-game streak. He had 55 hits in his first 86 games of 2011.

NOTES: The Braves had a pregame video tribute for former radio and TV broadcaster Ernie Johnson Sr., who died Friday night at the age of 87. Johnson was involved with the team for more than 50 years as a player, executive and broadcaster. ... A collection of players from the Braves' 1991 NL championship team took a 7-7 tie in a softball game against former Braves players from other years. John Smoltz hit a two-run homer and made an over-the-shoulder catch in center field for the 1991 team, which was managed by Bobby Cox. Many of the players attended Friday night's ceremony to retire Cox's No. 6. ... Braves rookie Brandon Beachy will try for his sixth win against Chicago's Matt Garza in Sunday's final game of the series. Garza will be making his first career start against Atlanta, and Beachy will make his first start against the Cubs. ... Braves C Brian McCann expects to return from a strained left oblique injury Sunday. He played his second rehab game with Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday. ... Castro matched his career high with his four hits.