Braves storm back in seventh against Phils

Braves storm back in seventh against Phils

Braves storm back in seventh against Phils
PHILADELPHIA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez kept Dan Uggla out of Tuesday night's lineup because he felt a matchup against Cole Hamels might erase some of the progress his struggling second baseman had made over the previous week.

One night later, Uggla further distanced himself from a troubling two-month slump and prevented Tim Hudson from being doomed by yet another of those ugly innings that have plagued him this year.

Uggla's bases-clearing double in the seventh inning capped a three-hit performance and provided the Braves a lead they would not relinquish on the way to claiming an eventful 12-6 win against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night.

"It was definitely a confidence-booster," Uggla said. "Any time you can come through in a situation like that, it's going to raise your confidence and put you a little more at ease."

The Braves have won 12 of their past 15 games and eight of the nine they have played against the Phillies since the beginning of July.

After watching the Phillies erase a 6-1 deficit with a five-run fifth inning against Hudson, the Braves regained command of the game as Jason Heyward sparked the decisive seventh-inning rally with a two-out double. Chipper Jones was walked intentionally before Antonio Bastardo walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases for Uggla.

Uggla then greeted right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom with a scorching double that raced past the third-base bag and made its way to the left-field corner. The game-winning hit gave him multi-hit performances in consecutive starts and just his third multi-hit game since recording four hits, including two home runs, against the Marlins on June 5.

"It's a constant grind," Uggla said. "I've been scuffling for far too long. I've been lucky that my teammates have picked me up. Now it's my turn to let them breathe a little easier. It's something I take pride in, and it's time to get going."

Michael Bourn ended his recent struggles with a three-hit game, and David Ross added to the events of the seventh inning by recording his first stolen base in his 636th career game. But the evening's focus was on Uggla, who has recorded at least one hit in eight of his last 10 games. That's an encouraging development considering the fact that he entered Wednesday having hit .136 (23-for-169) in his previous 51 games.

"You know he's going to go through some things and that you've got to be patient with him," Gonzalez said. "The great thing about him is that he doesn't take it to the field with him. He plays the game hard and has a great attitude. The guys really appreciate that and pull for him."

Other than the fact that Jimmy Rollins hit his first pitch of the game over the right-field wall, Hudson cruised through the first four innings. But he then retired just one of the seven batters he faced in the game-tying five-run fifth inning. This marked the sixth time this year that he has allowed at least four runs in an inning.

"It's frustrating, for sure," Hudson said. "It's like out of the four, five or six innings, it's like there is one that is an absolute nightmare, and the others it feels like they don't hardly have a chance to put the ball in play."

Rollins and Domonic Brown altered the evening's tone when they hit back-to-back one-out doubles in the fifth inning. After Chase Utley was hit with a pitch, Ryan Howard added to his success against Hudson by drilling a game-tying three-run home run over the left-center-field wall.

Howard's seventh career home run against Hudson erased the comfortable early advantage the Braves constructed against Kyle Kendrick, who was hurt by a four-run second inning that took him 50 pitches to complete.

"They had a good approach, but I really wasn't throwing strikes at all," Kendrick said. "I wasn't getting ahead. I couldn't find the zone. That was the main thing. I threw a lot of pitches."

Most of Kendrick's second-inning mistakes were committed after Ross tied the game with a one-out ground ball that scored Freeman. With first base open and two outs, the right-hander made the mistake of pitching carefully to Paul Janish. After Janish drew a four-pitch walk, Hudson drilled a two-run double over center fielder John Mayberry's head.

Hudson scored two batters later on a Martin Prado single that drew a wide throw from right fielder Nate Schierholtz. The only other damage incurred by Kendrick came courtesy of the two-run fourth-inning home run hit by Bourn, whose nine homers are four more than his previous career high.

While the offense provided more than enough support, the Braves' bullpen continued its strong run by holding the Phillies scoreless after Hudson exited. Atlanta's relievers have combined to post a 1.52 ERA and limit opponents to a .214 batting average in their last 30 games.

"In my opinion, our bullpen is really good, and if we match up with their bullpen, then I think we've got a good chance to win with our lineup," Ross said. "We just had to grind out at-bats, which we did."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.