HOUSTON — Dan Uggla never imagined it would be 66 games into the season before he had back-to-back multi-hit games for the Braves.
But it took that long for the second baseman, who showed signs over the weekend in Houston of coming out of the season-long slump that sunk his batting average to a majors-worst .170 before Saturday.
Uggla went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and a walk in Sunday’s 4-2 win, after going 2-for-3 with two walks on Saturday. He said he finally was starting to feel like himself at the plate.
“The way I can tell, the biggest difference, is the way I’m taking pitches now,” Uggla said. “My timing has been better the last couple of days. When you’re on time, you’re going to give yourself a chance.”
He snapped a string of 23 games including 21 games in which he’d batted, tied for the longest streak of his career in 2006. The three walks were also the most Uggla had in consecutive games all season.
“That’s a sign, for me, that he’s seeing the ball a lot better than he has,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who previously managed Uggla for 3-1/2 of the slugger’s five seasons with the Marlins. “The work he’s putting in is paying off.
“Usually when hitters go in slumps, they’re not seeing the ball. They try expanding the strike zone and get themselves in bad hitter’s counts.”
Uggla’s first-inning homer Sunday was his eighth, and staked Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson to a 2-0 lead.
“He looked like he was locked in today,” Hanson said. “Hopefully he keeps that going. He’s a big part of our team.”