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Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 08/15/2011

Leading Off: Dan Uggla’s streak ends, Braves set to start important series against Giants

Game of the day: San Francisco at Atlanta, 7 p.m. It’s still a little early to be thinking about the wild-card race — especially when the Giants are still just two games behind Arizona in the National League West — but San Francisco enters this four-game series four games behind Atlanta in the race to the playoffs’ back door. Dan Uggla’s 33-game hit streak ended with an 0-for-3 day Sunday, so the intrigue surrounding Atlanta is solely about its bid for the postseason. Right-hander Tim Hudson (12-7) will start the series opener for Atlanta, going for his fourth straight win and fourth consecutive start allowing two earned runs or fewer in seven or more innings pitched. Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner (7-11) has had an up-and-down season, but he pitched seven scoreless innings in his last start Tuesday against the Pirates.

Other game to watch: Texas at Los Angeles Angels, 10:05 p.m. The Rangers distanced themselves from the Angels a little bit this weekend, but Texas still enters this four-game series just four games ahead of Los Angeles in the American League West. The rivals have 10 more head-to-head games including this series and the last three games of the season, so this race is far from over. Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando (11-5) didn’t make it out of the third inning in his most recent start, but Ogando is 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA this season in two starts against Los Angeles. Rookie right-hander Garrett Richards (0-1) will make his second career start for the Angels. Richards allowed six runs in five innings Wednesday in his first start against the Yankees.

Games you should have seen:

Toronto 5, Los Angeles Angels 4 (10 innings) . Rookie Brett Lawrie forced extra innings with an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Edwin Encarnacion won it with an RBI single with two out in the bottom of the tenth. Eric Thames and Jose Bautista each homered for Toronto, who overcame an early 3-0 deficit to beat the Angels for the second consecutive game. Los Angeles closer Jordan Walden blew his eighth save in 34 chances.

Milwaukee 2, Pittsburgh 1 (10 innings) . Nyjer Morgan hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th as the Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI double in the top of the first for Pittsburgh, and the Pirates’ 1-0 lead held until Ryan Braun tied the score with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. The Brewers are now 8-0 this season against the Pirates, who have fallen from a first-place tie atop the National League Central on July 25 to 13 games out after Sunday.

Stat you should know: 178. Uggla’s hitting streak may have ended on Sunday, but a less-heralded one continued. Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis went 3 for 5 Sunday in Baltimore’s 8-5 win over the Tigers, extending his streak of getting at least one hit in every series to 178. Markakis had gone 0 for 8 in the first two games against Detroit to put the streak in jeopardy.

Star of the day: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt went 2 for 4 with two home runs Sunday in San Francisco’s 5-2 win over the Marlins. Belt was back in the lineup for the first time since July 30 after he was recalled from the minor leagues Saturday.

Chatter: “That’s more games than I thought I would ever have.” — Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, reflecting on the end of his hitting streak.

By Greg Schimmel  |  07:15 AM ET, 08/15/2011

 
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