Uggla's streak at 32, Braves beat Cubs 10-4
ATLANTA – Even Dan Uggla thinks this is unbelievable.
Uggla belted a pair of solo homers off Carlos Zambrano to extend his hitting streak to an Atlanta-record 32 games and lead the Braves to a 10-4 victory over the Cubs on Friday night.
"It's crazy," Uggla said following his second straight three-hit game. "It's not one of the things I set for a goal when I came over here."
Zambrano (9-7) gave up eight runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. The volatile right-hander then packed up his locker and talked about retiring before leaving the clubhouse.
Uggla passed Rico Carty's 31-game streak in 1970 for the longest in Atlanta Braves history when he led off the second with his 25th homer.
The second baseman, acquired from Florida in the offseason, had a rough first half in his first season with the Braves. He has raised his batting average from .173 to .229 and leads the team with 26 homers.
"Good for him," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We sure need him to be doing that in the middle of our lineup."
The Braves rolled to their fifth consecutive win after former manager Bobby Cox's No. 6 was retired in a pregame ceremony.
"I sure hope he goes home happy," said Atlanta's Chipper Jones, who hit a three-run homer. "I'm still trying to make him proud any way I can."
Zambrano allowed a career-worst five homers, and manager Mike Quade said he then left the team.
"I'm really disappointed," Quade said. "His locker is empty. He walked out on 24 guys ... I don't know where he's gone or what he's doing.
"He's talking about retiring ... but I can't have a guy walking out on 24 guys."
Zambrano was ejected by umpire Tim Timmons in the fifth inning after throwing two inside pitches to Jones, the second going all the way to the backstop. The brush-back pitches followed homers by Freddie Freeman and Uggla.
Jose Constanza also went deep against Zambrano.
Starlin Castro homered and Alfonso Soriano had two RBIs for the Cubs, who had won nine of 11.
Uggla went 3 for 3 and scored three times. His streak, which began on July 5, is the longest in the majors this season.
As the streak has grown, the Braves have become more emotionally involved.
"We're all hanging on every at-bat, hoping he gets it out of the way early, and he did," Jones said.
Tommy Holmes holds the franchise record with a 37-game hitting streak as a member of the Boston Braves in 1945. Uggla said he wasn't familiar with Carty or Holmes.
Atlanta grabbed control with three runs in the third. Zambrano retired the first two batters before Freeman singled and Uggla was hit by a pitch. Jones then hit a drive to center for his 10th homer, making it 5-1.
Freeman and Uggla hit back-to-back homers in the fifth to give Atlanta an 8-1 lead. Zambrano then threw one pitch inside to Jones and was immediately tossed after the Atlanta star had to jump back to avoid another inside pitch.
As Jones stood at the plate, staring at Zambrano, the Braves came out of their dugout. Timmons rushed toward the dugout, cautioning the players not to come out any farther.
Zambrano looked back at Jones as he walked off the field, then was shown on TV smiling before leaving the dugout.
Zambrano dropped to 2-5 with a 6.08 ERA in 13 career starts against Atlanta. The right-hander has dropped his last five decisions against the Braves.
Atlanta rookie Mike Minor (2-2) gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander allowed three hits in the sixth, including a two-run double by Soriano. Braves left fielder Martin Prado almost caught Soriano's drive, but the ball bounced out of his glove when he crashed into the wall.
Rookie right-hander Arodys Vizcaino pitched two scoreless innings for Atlanta.
Jones, three of Cox's top former pitchers — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz — and team president John Schuerholz spoke at the pregame ceremony.
Cox also was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame.
NOTES: Uggla entered Friday night's game batting .355 (44 for 124) with 12 homers and 29 RBIs during the streak, but only .224 overall. ... The Cubs announced they have agreed to terms with first baseman Trevor Gretzky, the son of former hockey great Wayne Gretzky. Trevor Gretzky, 18, was a seventh-round pick from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian High School. ... Braves C Brian McCann (strained left oblique) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett. He was to have one game as a designated hitter, one game as a catcher and then possibly come off the disabled list on Sunday. ... Jones' homer was his 1,000th extra-base hit. ... Attendance was 50,146.