NL East Wrap: Uggla's hit streak ends at 33

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NL East Wrap: Uggla's hit streak ends at 33

Uggla's streak ends at 33

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ATLANTA -- The Chicago Cubs stopped Dan Uggla's 33-game hitting streakand rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5 onSunday.

The Braves led 4-0 through five innings and 5-4 through six before Carlos Pena's two-run homer in the seventh.

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

Hisbest chance to extend the streak came in the fifth. Second basemanDarwin Barney made a diving catch of Uggla's fly ball in shallow rightfield.

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

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

His teammates patted him on the back and hugged him in the dugout after the game.

TheCubs have won 11 of 14 and four straight series for the first timesince Sept. 9-21, 2008. They have won 10 of their last 14 games.

Uggla'sstreak was the longest in the majors since 2006, when Philadelphia'sChase Utley had a 35-game streak. Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins had a38-game streak that began in 2005 and carried through the start of 2006.

Ugglastreak passed Rico Carty's 31-game streak in 1970 as the longest inAtlanta Braves history. The franchise record is 37 games by TommyHolmes for the 1945 Boston Braves.

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

Atlantatook 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 agrounder by Alex Gonzalez.

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

Cubs manager Mike Quade said beforethe game the team has moved past the controversy of pitcher CarlosZambrano cleaning out his locker and leaving the team on Friday nightand being 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."

Bournsingled in the first and moved to third when Garza fielded Prado's softgrounder and threw high to second for an error. Bourn scored on Uggla'sfly ball to left.

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

The Braves added two runs inthe second on RBI singles by Bourn and Prado and stretched the lead to4-0 in the fourth when Jose Constanza walked, stole second and thirdand scored on Bourn's broken-bat single to center.

The Cubsscored four runs in the sixth. Brandon Beachy, who gave up two runs onsix hits in 5 1-3 innings, was lifted after allowing singles by Barneyand Aramis Ramirez and Pena's run-scoring fly ball. Scott Linebrinkreplaced Beachy and gave up three straight hits, including TylerColvin's two-run single.

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

Rightfielder Jason Heyward, making his first start since Wednesday, made adiving catch of a line drive hit by Colvin to end the fourth inningwith runners on first and second. Heyward, running toward the foulline, saved at least one run when he made the catch while divingforward and landing on his chest.

Hanson to DL
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves have placedright-hander Tommy Hanson on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive toAug. 7, with right shoulder tendinitis. The team activated catcher Brian McCannfrom the disabled list. McCann, returning from a strained left oblique,is starting in Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs. The Braves also activated right-handerScott Linebrink (lower back strain) from the 15-day disabled list andoptioned right-hander Anthony Varvaro to Triple-A Gwinnett. Hanson allowed seven runs in 3 1-3 inningsin an 11-7 loss at the New York Mets on Aug. 6. An MRI on his shouldershowed no structural damage. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens (right kneestrain) is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, when theBraves will need a starter to replace Hanson.
Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3

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PHOENIX -- Justin Upton homered and Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice to help the Arizona Diamondbacks edge the New York Mets 5-3 on Sunday afternoon for their sixth straight win.

Arizona starter Jason Marquis, acquired in a July 30 trade from Washington, was hit on the right shin by a line drive and left the game one inning later with a broken fibula.

Goldschmidt snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning, doubling to the left-field corner and scoring on Henry Blanco's double to left off Mets starter Chris Capuano (9-11).

Zach Duke (3-4), who came on in relief of Marquis, allowed two runs on four hits over 2 2-3 innings and David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
Giants 5, Marlins 2

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MIAMI -- Ryan Vogelsong pitched into the eighth inning to earn his career-high 10th win and the San Francisco Giants used four home runs to beat the slumping Florida Marlins 5-2 Sunday.

Cody Ross ended the Giants' major league-record streak of 21 consecutive solo homers when he hit a two-run shot in the third inning. It was the first non-solo homer for San Francisco since July 6.

Nate Schierholtz started a new streak with a solo homer in the fourth. Brandon Belt, recalled Saturday from Triple-A, hit solo homers in the sixth and eighth.

Vogelsong (10-2) struck out eight while allowing two runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.47.

Santiago Casilla retired Mike Stanton with two on to end the eighth. Ramon Ramirez came on to retire Brett Hayes with two on and two out in the ninth for his second save in three chances. All-Star closer Brian Wilson was unavailable because of a sore back.

The home run total tied a season high for the Giants, who rank next to last in the majors in runs. They took the series after losing their past four series.

The Marlins faced the Giants' top three starters in the series, and the results showed -- Florida totaled four runs and 15 hits. The Marlins, who have struggled at home all season, went 1-9 on their homestand.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Difference in talent, power glaring as Phillies continue to lose to top teams

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Difference in talent, power glaring as Phillies continue to lose to top teams

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The gap in talent level that exists between the Phillies and some of the top teams in the majors has really been evident over the last eight games.
 
The Phillies have lost seven of those eight games to the Tigers, Cubs and Nationals. Tuesday night brought the latest defeat, a 5-1 loss to the National League East-leading Nats at Citizens Bank Park (see Instant Replay). The Nats have won the first two games of the series and go for the sweep on Wednesday night.
 
While losing seven of their last eight, the Phillies have seen their feel-good story turn to dust. Their record has gone from 25-19 to 26-26 and their deficit in the NL East from two games to 5½.
 
“We had a good month and a half,” manager Pete Mackanin said. “When things are going good, they snowball. When things are going bad, they snowball. We’ve got to keep that snowball from rolling. We’ve got to get out of it.”
 
There are a number of reasons the Phillies have hit hard times. Poor offense is a big one. They have been held to two or fewer runs five times in their last seven losses and 20 times for the season. They are now averaging 3.15 runs per game, the lowest mark in the majors. Offense like that is the reason why Aaron Nola can pitch six innings of two-run ball and lose on two mistake pitches as he did Tuesday night. These pitchers have no margin for error.
 
One of the offensive’s big shortcomings is the lack of power. The Phils have been out-homered 15-7 in the last eight games. Washington hit four longballs on Tuesday night; the Phillies hit none. In fact, the Phillies had just four hits – period.
 
“We’re just getting out-homered every night,” Mackanin said. “We’re not hitting home runs. I feel like it’s a broken record. We’re not hitting.”
 
For the season, the Phillies have 39 homers. Only Atlanta has hit fewer.
 
And it doesn’t appear as if things are going to get all that much better any time soon. Management would consider trading for a bat close to the July trading deadline – if the team is in the race. With reality striking hard lately, it’s tough to see this team being in the race for anything but a top-10 pick in next year’s draft. In the short term, the Phils could soon have Cody Asche back on the roster.
 
“Our pitching overall has been very good,” Mackanin said. “We’ve just got to hit.”
 
The Nationals won this game with power and good starting pitching.
 
Right-hander Joe Ross held the Phils to a run over seven innings – an RBI triple by Cesar Hernandez.
 
Meanwhile, Jayson Werth capitalized on a poorly located fastball by Nola and homered two batters into the game. Daniel Murphy got Nola in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie.
 
Nola would like to have had both pitches back.
 
“The pitch to Werth was right down the chute,” he said. “With Murphy, I wanted to get it in a little further and I didn’t.”
 
Other than that, Nola was pretty good. He pitched out of trouble in the second inning and was supported by a double play started nicely at second by Hernandez and a nice catch by Odubel Herrera in center field.
 
“We’re doing some things right but not enough of them,” Mackanin said.
 
“That’s baseball,” Nola said of the lack of run support. “Sometimes we pitch bad and get a lot of run support. The guys are battling. I feel like we’re going to bounce back the next couple of games.”
 
The Nationals blew the game open with three runs in the ninth against reliever Colton Murray. Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run homer and Stephen Drew followed with an inside-the-park homer.
 
The two home runs deprived Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon a chance at a save as he recorded the final three outs against his old team.

Instant Replay: Nationals 5, Phillies 1

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Instant Replay: Nationals 5, Phillies 1

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The Phillies' late-May slide continued in a 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday night.
 
Aaron Nola delivered a solid start, but got poor run support. The Phillies entered the game averaging 3.2 runs per game, lowest in the majors.
 
The Nationals scored all their runs on home runs.
 
The Phillies have lost nine of their last 11 games. They are 1-7 in their last eight and have gone from 25-19 and two games back in the NL East to 26-26 and 5½ games back.
  
Starting pitching report
Nola went six innings and allowed two runs, both on solo homers. He walked one and struck out six. He is 4-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
 
Washington right-hander Joe Ross (5-4) pitched a strong game. He gave up just three hits and a run over seven innings. He walked two and struck out five. Ross has given up just two runs over 14 innings in his last two starts.
 
Bullpen report
Jonathan Papelbon closed it out for the Nats in a non-save situation.
 
At the plate
The Phillies had just four hits. They have been held to two or fewer runs 20 times in their 52 games.

Cesar Hernandez tripled home the Phillies' only run.

Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy accounted for the Nationals’ first two runs pair of solo homers against Nola. Danny Espinosa smacked a two-run homer off Colton Murray in the ninth and Stephen Drew followed with an inside-the-park homer.
 
Murphy also singled in the game. He had 47 hits in the month of May, tying a Washington/Montreal franchise record that had previously been shared by Al Oliver and Marquis Grissom.

Lineup stuff
Mackanin was trying to send Hernandez a message by batting him eighth (see story).
 
Bryce Harper did not play for Washington. He was hit on the right leg by a pitch in Monday night’s game.
 
Slumping Ryan Howard started at first base and went hitless in three at-bats to fall to .154. He hit .101 (7 for 69) in the month of May.
 
Howard will not start Wednesday night against Max Scherzer. He is 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against Scherzer. Tommy Joseph will start that game.
 
Minor matters
Cody Asche’s minor-league rehab stint expires Wednesday. He could rejoin the team at any time.
 
Up next
 The series concludes on Wednesday night. Lefty Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67) pitches against Washington right-hander Scherzer (5-4, 4.05).

Drexel alum Ken Tribbett enjoys 'special' week for Union

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Drexel alum Ken Tribbett enjoys 'special' week for Union

CHESTER, Pa. — For more than a month, Union center back Ken Tribbett waited patiently on the sidelines, hoping to get the starting spot back that he had and then lost.

Last week, he indeed got back on the field … and then some.

After Joshua Yaro separated his shoulder in Orlando on Wednesday, Tribbett proceeded to notch his first MLS goal and assist, before playing the full 90 minutes in front of 30 family members in his home state of Colorado on Saturday.

It was quite the eventful week for someone who wasn’t expected to play at all during the road trip, let alone accomplish a couple of emotional milestones.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Tribbett told reporters from Tuesday’s training session after the Union returned home following hard-fought road draws vs. Orlando City SC and the Colorado Rapids. “For me, being out a month, mentally I had to make sure I stayed tuned in. And when I got my chance, I stepped in and was ready to go.”

Even if you are mentally prepared, it’s still not an easy thing to step in at center back in the middle of a game, considering that’s a position that rarely gets changed. Making things even more difficult was the fact that Yaro, who took over starting duties after Tribbett rolled his ankle in April, had been looking every bit like the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft.

“Josh was playing a great game in Orlando,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “If you go back and watch the tape, he was one of our top performers. Ken stepped in at the end of the first half, which is challenging at center back — not a position you like to sub at all. But Ken came in pretty seamlessly and got the goal, which is a bonus, obviously.”

You can call it a really big bonus.

Tribbett was never expected to even be in MLS this year after failing to get much notice following a standout career at Drexel.

And he certainly wasn’t expected to log much playing time this season with the Union, who added Yaro and Anderson, a Brazilian, to a position that already featured a rising star in Richie Marquez.

So surprises are nothing new for Tribbett, who started the first five games of the year after soaring up the depth chart in the preseason and now has a goal to add to his unlikely MLS resume.

But it’s no surprise to him.

“I don’t think shock is the right word because I expect a lot of myself and I expect to score a couple of goals this year,” Tribbett said. “So it was just more relief to get the first one out of the way. Any time you score, it’s jubilation, so that was awesome. And to tie the game in Orlando after going down 2-1 was really good for the team, so everything about it was just a special moment.”

Tribbett, who also had a secondary assist in Orlando, enjoyed another “special moment” just three days later when he got to play in the Denver area where he grew up. That was not something he could have imagined after his circuitous journey took him from Colorado to Drexel to the USL’s Harrisburg City Islanders and now to the Union.

“That was probably a moment I won’t ever forget,” Tribbett said. “I had about 20 or 30 family members there, and for a lot of them it was the first time they’ve seen me play professionally. So being back home in Colorado was a special feeling.”

Although the Union backline stayed organized and surrendered only a couple of shots on target in Colorado, Curtin did say it wasn’t the best performance from Tribbett. But the Union coach is ready to lean on him again for Wednesday’s game vs. the Columbus Crew at Talen Energy Stadium (7 p.m./TCN) while Yaro gets an MRI on his shoulder.

“He did fatigue at the end and I talked to him about it,” Curtin said of Tribbett. “He had a couple of little mistakes toward the end of the game. Part of that is your legs starting to fade. But it’s good for him that’s under his belt. He’ll be ready to go now [Wednesday] for the full 90 minutes.”

With the Union idle for two weeks following Wednesday’s game because of a Copa America layoff — and Tribbett’s place in the lineup uncertain from there — the Drexel alum is certainly excited to get back on the field for his first home game since April 8.

“It’s a very important game,” Tribbett said. “We want to go into the break with certain goals for ourselves. We want to be at the top of the conference, and if we win, we’ll achieve that goal. We want to keep one goal per game [allowed]. Right now, we’re one off that, so if we get a shutout tomorrow, we’ll be right back on track.”