Uggla celebrating birth of second child
Back in Florida on Wednesday, slugger has been a leader
ATLANTA -- After connecting on two home runs on Tuesday night, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla returned to South Florida to celebrate the birth of his second child.
Uggla, who now has 18 home runs on the season, is expected to rejoin the team in Atlanta on Thursday night for the series finale with the Braves. Alfredo Amezaga started at second base on Wednesday afternoon.
A streaky hitter, Uggla has the ability to carry a team for a while. He showed that many times in May. On Tuesday night, his two blasts accounted for three RBIs. Still, the Marlins lost, 5-4, in what has become an increasingly frustrating 10-game road trip.
"It doesn't really matter when you don't get the win," Uggla said after Tuesday night's game. "It's good to put us on top for a while, but winning is pretty much what matters."
The Marlins dropped six of their first eight on the three-city trip, which started in New York and went through Philadelphia before this four-game set in Atlanta.
At 2-6 on the trip, the Marlins led in the sixth inning or later in four of those games.
"Close games, they're tough," said Uggla, one of the leaders on the field and in the clubhouse. "We won a lot of close games in April. That shows a lot about the character of this team, for us to battle back. It shows we've got a lot of fight. We're not going to stop until the last out. You're going to lose a lot of close games. That's just the way it goes."
The bullpen has gone through its rough spell of late. But for most of the season, the relievers have stepped up.
"They've picked us up a ton this year," Uggla said.
If anything, the young Marlins had experienced more than their share of adversity. The nucleus of the squad came in during the 2006 season. That year, they had a stretch of being 20-games under .500 before rebounding and becoming surprising National League Wild Card contenders.
Last year, they finished at 71-91 in an injury-plagued season.
"We have to come together as a team," Uggla said. "I think that's the biggest thing about this team, we stick together. We're pretty tight in here."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.