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Uggla extends hitting streak to 31, Braves sweep

At this rate, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez wouldn't mind sending Dan Uggla down to the minors for a day.

Only because Uggla is hitting so well, Gonzalez wants to keep the Braves second baseman in a groove.

Uggla extended his hitting streak to 31 games, the longest in the majors this season, with a two-run single in the first inning that sent the Braves past the Florida Marlins 6-2 Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.

The Braves, who sent Florida to its seventh straight loss, are off Thursday.

"Let's find a game for him to play tomorrow so he can stay hot," Gonzalez said. "We're going to send him to Gwinnett or Mobile or one of those places so he can keep swinging it."

Uggla tied Rico Carty for the second-longest hitting streak in franchise history. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.

"It's crazy," Uggla said. "Was that one of the things I thought about when I got over here? No, obviously not, but it's a cool thing. This is an awesome organization and to have some kind of record with this organization is really special."

Uggla went 3 for 5. It was his ninth multihit game during the longest hitting streak in the majors this season. He is batting .224 overall this year.

"It's great, I love him," Braves pitcher Tim Hudson said. "He's been an unbelievable teammate all year. He plays hard every single day. When he had his struggles early on, he never made excuses, he played hard. When fans were booing him, he never let his head drop and he's prevailing now."

Hudson (12-7) allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings and struck out seven. The Marlins scored twice off him in the eighth.

"He was dominant," Gonzalez said.

Logan Morrison hit his 17th home run for the Marlins.

"We have to find a way to get the job done against those better teams," Morrison said.

Eric Hinske also drove in two runs for the Braves, who have won six of seven and are a season-best 20 games over .500.

Jonny Venters relieved in the ninth, coming in to strike out Brett Hayes with the bases loaded to record his fourth save in six chances.

Anibal Sanchez (6-6) stretched his winless streak to 11 games dating to June 10 with his shortest outing in nearly three years. He allowed five runs in 1 2-3 innings.

"This is the big leagues, boys," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "You want to stay in the big leagues, you have to get tough. You just can't let yourself get hammered. You got to do something about it. How bad do you want it?"

Atlanta, which is 9-3 against the Marlins this season, scored three times in the second for a 5-0 lead. Hudson hit an RBI single and Hinske had a two-run double.

"Our starting pitching has got to get tough and hold them down early in the game," McKeon said. "We cannot keep battling back, fighting an uphill battle, four or five runs every two or three innings in the beginning of the ballgame — it's not going to work."

NOTES: The longest hitting streak by a second baseman in big league history is 35 games, shared by Chase Utley (Phillies, 2006) and Luis Castillo (Marlins, 2002). ... The Marlins made two moves following the game as they placed SS Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day DL retroactive to Aug. 3 and optioned LHP Brad Hand to Double-A Jacksonville. RHP Chris Volstad and RHP Jose Ceda will be recalled Friday in corresponding moves. ... Braves SS Alex Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the seventh. ... It was the shortest outing for Sanchez since September 8, 2008, at Philadelphia when he pitched 1 2-3 innings and allowed five runs. ... Braves 20-year old RHP Arodys Vizcaino made his major league debut in the ninth. He got two outs and walked two. ... Both teams are off on Thursday. The Braves will begin a 10-game homestand on Friday while the Marlins will host the Giants for a three-game series.