The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Looking to shake out of slump, Braves jumble lineup vs Cardinals, putting pitcher in 8th spot

  • Print

ATLANTA - Looking to shake up his run-challenged team, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez decided on something drastic.

Pitcher Aaron Harang was batting eighth for Monday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Second baseman Ramiro Pena took the ninth spot in the order for Atlanta, which also switched around brothers B.J. and Justin Upton. Justin moved up to the second spot, where B.J. had been hitting. The older sibling dropped down to fifth in the order.

The Braves were mired in a six-game losing streak, their longest in two years.

"The offence is sputtering around," Gonzalez said in the dugout before his team went out for batting practice. "Why not do it?"

Atlanta scored only 10 runs in its last six games, and the lack of clutch hitting was galling in a weekend sweep by the San Francisco Giants. The Braves stranded 25 runners and hit just 3-of-21 (.143) with runners in scoring position.

But, even with the Braves still clinging to first in the NL East, the offence has been a season-long issue. The team has been shut out five times and scored only one run in seven games. If not for dominant starting — the Braves have won three games 1-0 — there would be even louder grumbling about the state of the team.

Gonzalez wouldn't say how long he plans to keep the pitcher in the eighth spot, but indicated it won't be for just one game.

"I'm not going to say we'll do it for the next 10 games or two weeks," he said. "But something this drastic, you need to do it a little bit. We'll see how it goes."

With Pena in the lineup, Dan Uggla was on the bench for the third time in four games. Coming off the worst season of his career, Uggla is hitting just .190 with two homers and 10 RBIs.

Gonzalez said he was merely looking for the best matchups — Uggla hits right-handed, Pena is a switch-hitter — and the move was not permanent. In fact, the manager took umbrage when a reporter used the word "benched" and said later that Uggla will likely be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

"He's not benched," Gonzalez snapped. "He's just not playing today."

But Uggla, one of the team's most highly paid players, was clearly upset by his lack of playing time.

"Nobody tells me anything anymore," he said. "I come to the field and do my job. That's it."

___

AP freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google