Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Baseball

Barney's catch helps Cubs beat Braves, 6-5

Darwin Barney's improbable catch helped the Cubs end Dan Uggla's hitting streak and extend Chicago's string of series wins.

Carlos Pena's two-run homer in the seventh gave Chicago the lead as the Cubs stopped Uggla's 33-game hitting streak and rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Sunday.

The Cubs have won 11 of 14, including two of three from the Braves. Chicago has won four straight series for the first time since Sept. 9-21, 2008.

"Just win, baby!" said manager Mike Quade.

Uggla's streak was the longest in the majors in five years. He was 0 for 3 with an RBI.

His best chance to extend the streak came in the fifth. Second baseman Darwin Barney made a diving catch of Uggla's fly ball in shallow right field. Barney was fully extended when he made the catch in front of right fielder Tyler Colvin.

Barney said the catch was more important because of Uggla's streak.

"Because of the circumstances and all that, I'm pretty happy about it," Barney said.

"It was a good streak for him. He's a great player. But I think our pitchers are happy. They take a lot of pride in that, and I'm happy for them."

Uggla said he thought the ball might drop in front of Colvin.

"I wasn't even looking at him," said Uggla of Barney. "I was looking at Colvin and I was like 'Oh, it's going to drop in front of him.' And the next thing you know Barney comes flying through."

Quade couldn't believe Braves pitchers had 18 strikeouts, including eight in 5 1-3 innings by starter Brandon Beachy.

"Eighteen? Is that what it was?" Quade asked. "That's one thing about a strikeout: You can't hit into a double play when you strike out."

Quade said before the game the team has moved past the Carlos Zambrano distraction. Zambrano cleaned out his locker and left the team on Friday night before he was placed on the disqualified list on Saturday.

"Look, grown-ups make decisions, and he made a decision," Quade said. "And that's his deal at this point, it's not mine."

Zambrano's Cubs equipment bag was seen on the truck being loaded outside the clubhouse, but there was no indication he will join the team before the end of his 30-day leave without pay. He cannot be involved in team activities while on the disqualified list.

The Braves led 4-0 through five innings and 5-4 through six before Pena's homer.

Uggla grounded out to shortstop against Jeff Samardzija in the seventh in his final at-bat. He didn't come up in the ninth, when Carlos Marmol earned his 28th save.

Marmol walked Michael Bourn, who had three hits, with two outs in the ninth. Bourn stole second base but Martin Prado popped out to third baseman Aramis Ramirez to end the game. If he had reached, Uggla would have been on deck.

Throwing errors by Cubs pitchers Matt Garza and John Grabow in the first and sixth innings, led to Atlanta runs.

Atlanta took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Jason Heyward singled off Grabow (3-0), stole second and scored on Grabow's wild throw to first on a grounder by Alex Gonzalez.

The Cubs answered in the seventh when Darwin Barney singled and scored on Pena's 23rd homer to right field off Eric O'Flaherty (1-4).

Uggla's streak was the longest in the majors since 2006, when Philadelphia's Chase Utley had a 35-game streak. Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins had a 38-game streak that began in 2005 and carried through the start of 2006.

He passed Rico Carty's 31-game streak in 1970 as the longest in Atlanta Braves history. The franchise record is 37 games by Tommy Holmes for the 1945 Boston Braves.

Bourn singled in the first and moved to third when Garza fielded Prado's soft grounder and threw high to second for an error. Bourn scored on Uggla's fly ball to left.

Garza's six errors lead all pitchers in the majors, according to STATS LLC. The six errors match his total from his first five seasons in the majors.

The Braves added two runs in the second on RBI singles by Bourn and Prado and stretched the lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Jose Constanza walked, stole second and third and scored on Bourn's broken-bat single to center.

The Cubs scored four runs in the sixth. Beachy, who gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1-3 innings, was lifted after allowing singles by Barney and Ramirez and Pena's run-scoring fly ball. Scott Linebrink replaced Beachy and gave up three straight hits, including Colvin's two-run single.

Arodys Vizcaino's wild pitch to Blake DeWitt allowed Geovany Soto to score from third.

NOTES: Quade said RHP Casey Coleman will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to replace Zambrano in the rotation. Coleman is 2-4 with a 7.23 ERA in 11 games, including nine starts, with Chicago this season. ... The Cubs begin a game at Houston when Rodrigo Lopez is schedule to face the Astros' Henry Sosa. ... The Braves placed RHP Tommy Hanson on the 15-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis and activated Linebrink. The team optioned RHP Anthony Varvaro to Triple-A Gwinnett. Fredi Gonzalez said RHP Randall Delgado will be recalled from Gwinnett to start Tuesday against San Francisco.