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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Braves' Uggla off DL, back in lineup

ESPN.com news services

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves hope Dan Uggla's improved vision will give the offense a much-needed boost.

Uggla was activated from the disabled list and in the lineup Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians.

The move came two weeks after the second baseman underwent Lasik eye surgery.

"I'm very happy with how it went," said Uggla, who was batting sixth against the Indians.

Uggla went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in his return, a 3-2 victory.

Uggla played two rehab games at Triple-A Gwinnett, going 2-for-7 with a homer. But he also struck out four times -- a familiar problem all season with the Braves.

"They have that 6 o'clock start out there, so it was going into bad shadows," Uggla said. "I was expecting the worst. But I could actually see the ball OK. It actually got better and better as the night went on."

When Uggla went on the disabled list Aug. 13, he was hitting only .186 with an NL-leading 146 strikeouts. Despite a commanding lead in the NL East, the Braves have dealt with two huge holes in their lineup -- both Uggla and center fielder B.J. Upton are hitting below .200. In addition, outfielder Jason Heyward is recovering from a broken jaw that could keep him out for the rest of the regular season.

At least Uggla has provided some power, ranking second on the team with 21 homers to go along with 53 RBIs. Upton, who signed a $75.25 million contract in the offseason, was hitting .182 with eight homers and 21 RBIs.

"We need to get those guys going," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

To make room for Uggla, the Braves optioned outfielder Todd Cunningham to Gwinnett, though he will likely return shortly after the rosters expand on Sept. 1.

Gonzalez also revealed that reliever Jordan Walden is battling "leg issues," which is why he hasn't pitched in a week. The manager expects Walden to return to the mound in another day or two.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.