PHILADELPHIA -- When the Braves acquired Matt Diaz from the Pirates last week, they believed that he would help lessen some of their struggles against left-handed pitchers. And by recording a pair of singles against southpaw Clayton Kershaw in Sunday's win over the Dodgers, Diaz showed he is capable of handling this role.
"That's Matty," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We all know what he can do."
After terrorizing left-handed pitchers over the course of five seasons for the Braves, Diaz signed a multiyear contract with the Pirates in December and struggled during the early months. But he has batted .421 against left-handed pitchers dating back to June 15.
Diaz made a second straight start for the Braves on Monday night, when they opposed Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee.
Braves get mixed news about Jurrjens, Hanson
PHILADELPHIA -- The Braves know there is a chance that they could enter the postseason without Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens in their rotation. But while Jurrjens will need to rest his sore right knee for a couple more weeks, Hanson took another step in the right direction while playing long toss on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.
"It felt good today, so that's definitely making me feel good about the situation," said Hanson, who has been sidelined since Aug. 6 with discomfort in his right shoulder caused by normal wear and tear.
Hanson will play long toss again within the next two days and continue to build toward a mound session and a rehab start, which would likely take place during the instructional league.
Though the 24-year-old right-hander is running out of time, there is still a chance he could be ready to make at least one start in the Majors before the regular season concludes on Sept. 28.
"We just have to wait and see," he said. "I don't want to push it like last time and be done. But at the same time, I don't want to take it too slow and not have enough time to come back."
Just as Hanson gained some peace of mind after getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews last week, Jurrjens felt some relief after visiting with knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado on Sunday.
Steadman confirmed the original diagnosis, that the discomfort in Jurrjens' right knee has been caused by a bone bruise, and he told the 25-year-old pitcher that he could take some stress off the knee by strengthening his right quadriceps muscle.
Unfortunately, Steadman also told Jurrjens that he should not attempt to throw off a mound for at least two more weeks. And with just three more weeks in the regular season, combined with the obvious need for Jurrjens to strengthen his arm before pitching again, there is very little reason to believe he would be available for the first round of the postseason.
He is expected to wear a brace to strengthen the right side of his right knee.
"I'm going to try to do as much as I can, as quick as I can," Jurrjens said.
Jurrjens was unable to pitch during the 2010 playoffs because of a torn meniscus in his right knee. The meniscus was surgically repaired in October, and he had no problems this season, entering the All-Star break with a National League-best 1.87 ERA.
But since the All-Star break, his right leg has felt week, and he has experienced a "small pinch" when pushing off the pitching rubber.
Uggla on doorstep of exclusive club
PHILADELPHIA -- Dan Uggla has already set an Atlanta record with a 33-game hitting streak and extended his Major League record for second basemen with a fifth 30-homer season. But while he is known for his power, he is also two infield hits away from joining a rare group.
With two more infield hits, Uggla will become just the 43rd player in Major League history to record 30 homers and 20 infield hits since 1987, when the infield single was recognized as an official stat. The only other Braves to accomplish this are Andruw Jones (1998 and 2000), Ron Gant (1990 and 1993) and Gary Sheffield (2003).
The only Major Leaguer to record at least 30 homers and 30 infield hits in a season is Alex Rodriguez (1996 and 1998).
Uggla nearly joined that 30-30 club when he recorded 31 infield hits during his 2006 rookie season, but he hit just 27 homers. He has totaled at least 30 homers in each of the five seasons that have followed.
Chipper Jones did not start Monday night's game because of flu-like symptoms.
The Braves posted their 82nd win on Sunday, four games ahead of last year's pace.
Triple-A Gwinnett was officially eliminated from the International League playoff race on Monday. Because there are no playoff implications, Gwinnett will not make up their regular-season finale which was unplayable on Monday because of rain.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.