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Braves mash Marlins, 11-0, thanks to Uggla’s two home runs; Chipper hopes to return by weekend

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, left, congratulates Dan Uggla after Uggla hit his second home run of the game against the Marlins.

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, left, congratulates Dan Uggla after Uggla hit his second home run of the game against the Marlins.

MIAMI — Dan Uggla finished his night with a thud.

Playing his first game in the Marlins’ new ballpark, Uggla hit two homers, including a direct shot off the home-run sculpture that reverberated throughout the stadium, and the Atlanta Braves drubbed Miami, 11-0, on Tuesday night.

Tim Hudson pitched a five-hitter for his 13th career shutout, and he had plenty of run support thanks to Uggla. The former Marlin totaled four hits and five RBI, both season highs.

“Uggla was superman (Tuesday night),” Hudson said.

Uggla hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and he made the sculpture shudder when he sent a two-run homer in the ninth thudding into the sun in the middle of the colorful structure.

“I heard it,” he said. “I didn’t see where it hit. They told me I hit the sun. I was like, ‘Aw man, that was cool.’ Did they get a distance on it?”

Estimated distance: 432 feet.

Uggla increased his homer total to 10 this season and 200 for his career.

“I hope to have many more,” he said.

Uggla doubled and scored in the second, and he hit a two-run single in the seventh. He spent his first five seasons with the Marlins and hit 78 home runs in their former home, the most by any player.

He likes the new ballpark just fine — including the much-maligned, carnivalesque sculpture.

“I thought the whole stadium was really cool,” he said. “I was happy to come here and see it.”

Hudson (4-2) struck out three, walked three and allowed only one runner to reach third base en route to his 25th complete game.

“It was a fun game,” he said. “They were hitting to our guys, and I had some luck on my side for a change.”

Hudson contributed a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single for his first RBIs this year.

Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons had three hits and three RBI, and Jason Heyward had three hits to help the Braves win for the fourth time in their past five games. They totaled 16 hits, and eight of their runs scored with two out.

The Marlins again mustered little support for Anibal Sanchez (3-4), who allowed a season-high seven runs in 6 2-3 innings. Miami has scored only 18 runs this season while he’s in the game.

The Marlins lead the majors with 21 comeback wins, but there was no rallying against Hudson.

“He didn’t have any stressful innings,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Miami was shut out for the sixth time. The night’s biggest cheer from the crowd of 25,432 came when the Heat-Celtics playoff game two miles away was shown on the video scoreboard between innings.

“A game like that, you just have to turn the page and be ready for tomorrow,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Hudson has allowed no homers in his past 44 innings. He threw 108 pitches and improved to 12-4 in 23 starts against the Marlins with an ERA of 2.76.

His most recent shutout and complete game was May 4, 2011 against Milwaukee.

“That’s what I’d like to be known for at the end of the year — our pitching,” Gonzalez said.

Sanchez fell to 4-11 in 17 starts against the Braves with a 5.42 ERA.

“I missed a lot of pitches, I stayed behind in a lot of counts and the umpire missed a couple of pitches,” Sanchez said.

The Marlins’ Jose Reyes reached on a bunt single in the third to extend the longest active hitting streak in the majors to 15 games.

Uggla doubled to start the second and scored the game’s first run on a groundout by Heyward. With two outs in the fourth, Sanchez gave up four consecutive hits, including Uggla’s solo homer and Simmons’ RBI single.

In the seventh, Simmons tripled in a run and came home on Hudson’s flyout. Uggla hit a two-out, two-run single to make the score 7-0.

“When he’s hot, he can carry a ballclub,” Guillen said.

Notes: Uggla’s multihomer game was his 15th. … Braves C Brian McCann was back in the lining after sitting out Sunday with a bruised left knee. He went 0 for 4.


CHIPPER AIMING TO RETURN THIS WEEKEND FROM DL:

MIAMI -- The Braves could have a key player back in a few days as third baseman Chipper Jones prepares for his return from a leg injury.

Jones took batting practice Tuesday at Marlins Park for the first time since having surgery May 26 to drain a hematoma on his lower left leg.

"I feel good," Jones said. "Today is the first day that I picked up a bat in quite some time. I felt good. I don't have any pain. I'm going to probably get my stitches off [Wednesday], which is good. I have no restrictions. They're letting me go out and hit and take ground balls and run, even with the stitches in."

The veteran is eligible to be activated on Friday, but Atlanta could choose to send him on a rehab assignment first. That is a situation Jones is trying to avoid.

"I'm haggling with management right now as to whether I take a rehab assignment or not," Jones said. "The next couple of days will determine that."

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez admits the next few days will be interesting as everyone tries to determine what would be best for Jones and the team.

"This is going to be the Gonzalez-Jones soap opera," Gonzalez joked. "The last answer he gave me was he didn't give me an answer. That's what my wife usually does to me when she's not exactly on board."

Jones has strong feelings regarding rehab assignments and is eager to return to action in the big leagues instead of in the Minors.

"I'm not a big fan of rehab assignments," Jones said. "I feel like if I'm healthy enough to go down to play, I'm healthy enough to stay here. I'm not trying to help win a Governor's Cup. I'm trying to help us win the National League East. Obviously, the more I can be here, the happier I am."

Jones expects a decision regarding a rehab assignment to be made by the end of the series with the Marlins. While the Braves hope to have him back in about a week, Jones would prefer to return as soon as he is eligible.

"I would say probably at some point [Wednesday] or early Thursday," Jones said. "I know Fredi had said something about him wanting me back by the time the Yankees series starts. I want to be there for the Blue Jays series when I'm eligible to come off. We'll spend the next few days haggling over that."

The Braves could use the veteran's presence as they have been successful with him playing and have struggled while he has been out. Atlanta is 19-5 with Jones in the starting lineup and 10-20 without him.

"He's so important to our lineup," Gonzalez said. "Just look at the numbers. For him to come back and be sore and we have to give him a couple of days off, who knows? If he goes out and plays two or three games, you don't know how much better that soreness will be."

While Jones is at least a few days away from returning, the Braves did get another key player back in the lineup on Tuesday. Brian McCann returned to action after he missed Sunday's game due to a bruised left knee. McCann sustained the injury on Saturday night against the Nationals.

"It's still sore, but it's good enough," McCann said. "Makes it a little tough to squat, but it's not that big of a deal. I'm good to go."

Comments

VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Braves just keep melting away.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

Have they won 8 straight to make up for that 8 game meltdown yet?

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