MILWAUKEE — Lucky bounce or not, Dan Uggla will take it.
Uggla’s deep fly ball bounced off the top of the wall and over for a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, helping the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 victory over the winless Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.
“I knew I hit it good. I knew I hit it low,” Uggla said. “I didn’t think it was going to carry that far.”
Atlanta trailed before Martin Prado led off the eighth with a homer off Takashi Saito. With two outs, Uggla connected against Saito for his second homer with the Braves.
Uggla, who was 2-for-13 heading into the game and wasn’t happy with his first three at-bats Monday, said he was happy to give his new team a lift.
“I was maybe a little bit overanxious on my first three at-bats,” Uggla said. “To get the go-ahead home run, that was a pretty cool thing. It’s my first week with a new team in the season and a lot of excitement.”
Peter Moylan (1-0) got three outs to get the victory, and Craig Kimbrel struck out three batters in a row in the ninth for his second save.
Before the eighth-inning rally, the Braves failed to muster much offensive support for starter Brandon Beachy, who gave up four hits, including Rickie Weeks’ homer, in six innings while striking out seven.
“He gets in some jams,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He doesn’t give in. He makes some tough pitches. His stuff got better as the game went on. His command of the breaking ball got better.”
Weeks continued his impressive start for Milwaukee with his third homer of the season leading off the third.
Beyond that, it was the continuation of an ugly start to the season for the Brewers, who were swept in a three-game series at Cincinnati.
The Brewers aren’t overreacting to their rough start, but they’re certainly frustrated.
Asked for his thoughts on the loss, Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee paused, then chuckled.
“What do you want me to say?” he said.
McGehee acknowledged that the Brewers need to play better, but they also could use some good luck.
“We had a ball hit the top of the wall and bounce away from us,” McGehee said.
Saito (0-1) struck out Nate McLouth and got Chipper Jones to ground out before Uggla hit his fly to left-center that hit off the top of the wall and bounced over.
“He hung a breaking ball to Uggla,” new Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “It was the right pitch — he just hung it a little bit.”
Ryan Braun had a one-out single in the eighth, but Prince Fielder hit into a double play to end the inning.
Milwaukee squandered a strong outing by Chris Narveson, who struck out five batters in six sparkling innings. The left-hander allowed only three singles and three walks — and he picked off one of those baserunners, McLouth, in the first.
Beachy, who made three starts last season, won a spot in the Braves’ rotation with a strong performance in spring training.
“He was locating his fastball well,” McGehee said. “The middle part of the game, he started to find his breaking ball and being able to locate it. That’s usually a pretty good recipe for having some success.”
Beachy got into trouble in the first, but McGehee flied out with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Weeks put the Brewers in front in the third, hitting a 2-1 pitch deep to left.
Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt doubled in the second for his first hit of the season and added a single in the fourth. Betancourt was acquired in Milwaukee’s offseason trade with Kansas City for Zack Greinke and started the season 0-for-11.
Milwaukee couldn’t take advantage of a scoring chance in the fourth, putting runners on second and third with one out. Back-to-back strikeouts by Wil Nieves and Narveson ended the inning.
Beachy got better as the game went on, retiring nine straight batters after his shaky start to the fourth.
“He did the same thing that he’s done all spring that I saw him do: He battled his butt off,” Uggla said. “Never gave in. He gave us just an amazing effort and gave us a chance to win the ballgame.”
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