By JOE RESNICK
LOS ANGELES — Dan Uggla’s batting average is the last thing on his mind. The slugging second baseman prefers to concentrate on home runs, RBIs and the Atlanta Braves’ comfortable lead atop the NL East.
Uggla had two homers and four RBIs in an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. It was the 18th multihomer game for the three-time All-Star and his second this year.
Since the start of the 2006 season, his first in the majors, Uggla leads all players at his position with 222 home runs — 42 more than Yankees slugger Robinson Cano. He entered this four-game series hitting .183.
“The batting average is what it is,” Uggla said. “I mean, it ain’t the first time I’ve hit .180, .170, .160, whatever. But I throw those numbers out the door. The way I look at it, we’re eight games up right now — and that’s without me doing anything at all. But I know what I’m capable of doing. And if I can be more consistent and help these guys out by driving in some runs, that’s all that matters.
“You always want to feel like you matter and feel like you were a factor. There were a lot of times this year where I didn’t. So to get some homers and drive in some runs feels good,” he added.
Freddie Freeman drove in three runs with a double and Mike Minor kept the Braves’ rotation rolling with six solid innings. Atlanta had an eight-game lead over second-place Washington — the largest of any division leader — pending the nightcap of the Nationals’ doubleheader against Minnesota.
The Braves, who won the season series 5-2, grabbed a 4-1 lead with four runs in the third against rookie Matt Magill (0-2). All of them were unearned because of an error by three-time Gold Glove first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who fielded Justin Upton’s dribbler a few feet from the foul line and dropped the ball while making a hurried attempt to tag him. It was his seventh error, two more than he had last season.
Freeman’s single loaded the bases, and Evan Gattis followed with a sacrifice fly before Uggla drove a 2-1 pitch into the Dodgers’ bullpen in left field. He led off the fifth against Ronald Belisario with his 13th of the season and third in two days.
Minor (8-2) allowed a run and six hits, struck out six and walked three while helping the Braves gain a split of the four-game series. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA over his last seven starts.
Atlanta’s rotation has yielded four runs in 37 1-3 innings spanning the team’s last six games. The stretch includes eight innings of one-hit ball by rookie Julio Teheran — who came within four outs of a no-hitter on Wednesday against Pittsburgh — and back-to-back starts by Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm in which each allowed one run in Braves losses.
Magill was charged with seven runs — three earned — and four hits over 3 2-3 innings in his sixth major league start, none of which the Dodgers have won. The 23-year-old right-hander from Simi Valley issued six walks, giving him 28 in 27 2-3 innings and a 6.51 ERA.
ROCKIES 8, PADRES 7 (10)
DENVER — Dexter Fowler’s single with two outs in the 10th inning scored DJ LeMahieu from third base and the Rockies rallied for a win over the Padres.
Fowler finished with four hits and Troy Tulowitzki had two, including his 16th home run. Rockies starter Juan Nicasio retired his first 16 batters.
Nick Hundley, Cameron Maybin and Mark Kotsay homered for the Padres, who missed an opportunity to take three of four in the series after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth.
Rex Brothers (2-0) pitched the 10th for the win.
Tyson Ross (0-3) took the loss.
MARLINS 8, METS 4 (10)
NEW YORK — The Miami Marlins needed extras to beat the New York Mets again, but only 10 innings instead of 20.
Derek Dietrich hit a tying home run in the eighth and second baseman Daniel Murphy’s 10th-inning error allowed Logan Morrison to score the go-ahead run in his first game in 11 months, boosting the Marlins to a victory.
Greg Dobbs added a sacrifice fly off Rob Carson and Miguel Olivo followed with a two-run homer in the four-run 10th, eliminating the need for a repeat of Saturday’s 6-hour, 25-minute marathon, won by the Marlins 2-1.
Bobby Parnell (4-3) was the loser.
Chad Qualls (1-0) got his first win since July 13 last year, striking out Justin Turner and Anthony Recker with the potential winning run on base in the ninth.
CUBS 4, PIRATES 1
CHICAGO — Cody Ransom hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh inning and Edwin Jackson pitched the Cubs to a victory over the Pirates.
Ransom connected off reliever Justin Wilson (5-1) for his sixth home run of the season. Darwin Barney and Julio Borbon were on base after the Cubs were held hitless for 5 2-3 innings by Pirates starter Jeff Locke.
Jackson (2-8) had his best and longest outing of the season, striking out eight in seven innings. He allowed four hits and a walk as the Cubs salvaged the finale of a three-game series.
PHOENIX — Chad Gaudin pitched six strong innings, Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt homered and the Giants beat the Diamondbacks.
Gaudin (2-1) had his second good start in place of the injured Ryan Vogelsong, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. The Giants right-hander, normally a long-relief specialist, struck out seven and walked one intentionally. One of Arizona’s runs scored on Gaudin’s balk. Scutaro and Belt each had a solo shot off Tyler Skaggs (1-1), who gave up five runs on eight this in five innings.
The Giants won two of three in Arizona to move within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Scutaro also singled twice, scoring two runs.
BREWERS 9, PHILLIES 1
MILWAUKEE — Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer on his bobblehead day, Scooter Gennett had a two-run triple and Kyle Lohse pitched eight strong innings for his first win in eight starts to help the Brewers beat Philadelphia to take the final three games of the four-game series.
Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun left after the third inning with a sore right thumb, which has been a lingering problem for him.
Gennett’s triple highlighted a four-run second inning and Gomez’s homer in the sixth off starter Jonathan Pettibone (3-2) was plenty of insurance for Lohse’s first victory since beating San Diego on April 22.
Lohse (2-6) experienced minor hamstring tightness in his left leg after running the bases during his previous start Tuesday, but showed no ill effects. His only major hiccup was Humberto Quintero’s first home run of the season, a shot into the Phillies’ bullpen in right.
Lohse gave up four hits, walked one and struck out six.
Pettibone allowed six runs, four earned, and four hits in 5 1-3 innings.
NATIONALS 7, TWINS 0
WASHINGTON — Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven scoreless innings to get his ninth win, tying him for most in the majors, and the Nationals’ bats showed some rare signs on life in a victory over the Twins in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
The Nationals, who hadn’t scored more than three runs for seven straight games, managed to get five across in one inning as they broke a two-game losing streak and moved within one game of .500.
Zimmermann (9-3) did the rest, allowing only two hits while striking out eight with a season-high 111 pitches.
Ian Desmond got three hits and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. Anthony Rendon had two hits and three RBIs.
Washington scored a pair in the fourth and sent 10 hitters to the plate in a five-run fifth that chased Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (4-5).
TIGERS 4, INDIANS 1
DETROIT — Jose Alvarez pitched six impressive innings in his major league debut and Don Kelly hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth to help the Detroit Tigers finish a three-game sweep of the skidding Cleveland Indians with a 4-1 victory Sunday.
Alvarez (1-0) was starting because of Anibal Sanchez’s shoulder tightness, and he held Cleveland hitless until Ryan Raburn’s fifth-inning homer. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed three hits and a walk and struck out seven.
Drew Smyly pitched two innings of relief and Joaquin Benoit finished for his third save. Cleveland has lost seven straight.
Justin Masterson (8-5) allowed four runs in seven innings. He gave up a walk to Miguel Cabrera and a single to Prince Fielder to start the Detroit sixth. One out later, Kelly lifted a drive over the wall in right.
The first-place Tigers lead Cleveland by 5½ games in the AL Central.
RED SOX 10, ANGELS 5
BOSTON — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia connected twice to power Boston past Los Angeles.
Saltalamacchia and Mike Carp went deep on consecutive pitches from Joe Blanton (1-10) in the sixth inning, moments after Ryan Dempster (4-6) got his 2,000th career strikeout. The Red Sox took two of three in the series and have won six of eight.
Los Angeles entered the weekend having won eight straight against the Red Sox after going 6-0 last season, but dropped the final two after winning the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.
Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo each hit a solo homer for the Angels.
Dempster gave up three runs in six innings. Ortiz has five homers and 14 RBIs in his last 10 games.
YANKEES 2, MARINERS 1
SEATTLE — Chris Stewart hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and David Phelps matched Felix Hernandez for six innings to help New York beat Seattle.
Ichiro Suzuki drew a walk from Yoervis Medina (1-2) to open the ninth and Jayson Nix sacrificed. With two outs, Stewart bounced a grounder through the left side and Suzuki scored easily against his former team to help the Yankees take three of four at Safeco Field.
Mariano Rivera allowed two hits and a walk in the ninth but earned his 23rd save in 24 opportunities, extending his career record to 631.
ORIOLES 10, RAYS 7
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis had two RBIs apiece as Baltimore battered eight-game winner Matt Moore in beating Tampa Bay.
The Orioles, held to one run and six hits in losing the first two games of the series, finished with 16 hits in this one.
Moore (8-2) allowed career highs of nine runs and 12 hits over five innings in his second consecutive loss. In his previous start, the left-hander gave up six runs over two-plus innings in a 10-1 loss at Detroit.
Chris Tillman (6-2) yielded three runs and four hits in six innings to improve to 5-0 on the road. Jones homered and Jim Johnson got his 21st save, handing the Rays their fourth loss in 14 games.
RANGERS 6, BLUE JAYS 4
TORONTO — Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy also connected and Texas rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Toronto.
One day after the Blue Jays beat Texas in 18 innings, Beltre hit an opposite-field shot to right off Neil Wagner for his 14th homer of the season. That helped the Rangers avoid a three-game sweep and their first four-game losing streak of the season.
Neal Cotts (2-0) worked one inning for the win and Joe Nathan escaped a ninth-inning jam for his 19th save in 20 chances.
Wagner (1-1) had pitched 7 2-3 scoreless innings since being promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on May 29.
Adam Lind hit a three-run homer for the Blue Jays, who had won three straight.
WHITE SOX 4, ATHLETICS 2
CHICAGO — Alex Rios and Tyler Flowers homered, Hector Santiago pitched into the seventh inning and Chicago beat Oakland to split their four-game series.
The White Sox appear to be waking up after dropping 10 of 11 and falling into last place in the AL Central. They’ve won two in a row behind strong starts from Santiago (2-4) and John Danks, and their bats are showing some life as well.
Flowers tied it 1-all in the third after Coco Crisp homered in the top half. The White Sox grabbed a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Conor Gillaspie and an RBI double by Gordon Beckham. Rios chased A.J. Griffin (5-5) with a solo homer in the eighth to make it 4-2.
Jesse Crain retired the side in the eighth, giving him 24 straight scoreless innings and 25 appearances in a row without allowing a run. Reed worked the ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances.
The Athletics lost for just the fifth time in 23 games.
ROYALS 2, ASTROS 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer each had a run-scoring single in the eighth, Luis Mendoza pitched seven innings of four-hit ball and Kansas City beat Houston for its fifth straight win.
Aaron Crow (2-1) worked a scoreless eighth to earn a victory that gave the Royals their longest winning streak since taking seven in a row form Sept. 10-17, 2011.
With one out in the eighth, Chris Getz singled and stole second off reliever Hector Amrbiz (1-3). Gordon, who was 1 for 18 on the homestand, singled for the first run. Gordon moved to third on center fielder Trevor Crowe’s errant throw home and scored on Hosmer’s single.
Greg Holland pitched a spotless ninth for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.
Astros starter Lucas Harrell held the Royals to two singles by Salvador Perez in seven scoreless innings.