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Uggla hustles his way to 29-game hit streak

Uggla hustles his way to 29-game hit streak

Uggla hustles his way to 29-game hit streak
MIAMI -- When Dan Uggla owned the National League's worst batting average during the early portion of this season, he continued to hustle and display a blue-collar work ethic that drew respect from his teammates.

As the Braves' second baseman has spent the past couple of weeks extending the game's longest current hitting streak, Uggla has continued to benefit from the same hustle he displayed both as a Minor Leaguer and an All-Star.

Uggla's determined spirit and hustle helped him extend his Major League-best hitting streak to 29 games with an infield single in the fifth inning of Monday night's 8-5 win over the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium. He hit a slow roller to the left side and hustled through the first-base bag just ahead of shortstop Emilio Bonafacio's throw.

"Every hit counts," Uggla said. "You've got to take the infield ones with the doubles in the gap. Hitting ain't easy."

When Uggla was hitting .173 on July 4, generating consistent offensive success proved to be very difficult. But over the month that has followed, the 31-year-old has managed to become one of the game's hottest hitters.

All-time Atlanta hit streaks
The longest hitting streaks in Braves history:
# Player Year
31 Rico Carty 1970
29 Dan Uggla 2011
29 Rowland Office 1976
28 Marquis Grissom 1996

During his 29-game hitting streak, Uggla has batted .354 (40-for-113), with 12 homers and a .717 slugging percentage. His batting average has risen to .220, which stands as his second-highest mark of the season.

Uggla's hitting streak has been surprising in a number of ways. He recorded a hit in a total of 25 games during May and June combined.

"You pull for all your players the same," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But what he went through in April and May, when he kept a level head and answered all the questions, it's nice to see him do what he signed up for. You've got to give him all the credit in the world because there would have been a lot of guys moping around in April or May, and he was just the same guy."

Uggla's streak stands as the second-longest in the Majors this year. When he faces his close friend, Marlins right-hander, Clay Hensley, on Tuesday night, he'll have a chance to match the 30-game streak Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier constructed earlier this year.

Uggla is tied with Rowland Office (1976) for the second-longest hitting streak in Atlanta history. Rico Carty holds the Atlanta record with a 31-game streak in 1970.

"I'm here to have fun and continue to just get my work in and help this team win," Uggla said. "We're getting back on track as a team and we all need to just keep going."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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