ATLANTA (AP) - Kirk Gibson is quick to acknowledge his Diamondbacks are struggling.
He's also quick to point out his team still leads the NL West.
Wade Miley gave up five runs in his major league debut and Arizona lost to the Atlanta Braves 8-1 on Saturday night to leave the Diamondbacks with a four-game losing streak.
Dan Uggla homered twice and drove in three runs and Brandon Beachy pitched six strong innings for Atlanta.
Arizona has its longest losing streak since losing five straight from May 8-13. Both streaks came on road trips.
The Diamondbacks remain 2.5 games ahead of San Francisco, which lost to Houston, in the NL West.
``They're struggling. We're struggling,' Gibson said. ``We've struggled before in the season, we're still in first place. That's the good news.'
Gibson said his players are feeling the effects of their 10-game road trip against NL East teams.
``We're just having a tough time now,' he said. ``We're unable to get anything going right now. We'll keep pushing.'
Uggla's two-run homer in the first gave Atlanta the lead. Uggla and Freddie Freeman hit back-to-back homers in the seventh.
``They're a very good team,' said Gibson of the Braves. ``They're playing very well.
``We're having trouble laying off their pitches. Just get some rest tonight, come back tomorrow, look for some fun.'
Uggla, whose 33-game hitting streak ended on Sunday, is one homer away from his fifth straight 30-homer season. With two hits against Arizona, Uggla is hitting .231 - almost 60 points higher than his .173 mark before the hitting streak.
``After that rough start, I'm sure people were probably doubting I'd get to where I am now,' Uggla said. ``That's why you play the full season.'
Uggla's fourth two-homer game of the season left him tied for second in the NL with 29.
After winning three of four from San Francisco, the Braves have won the first two games of the weekend series against the first-place Diamondbacks.
Martin Prado had three hits, walked and drove in a run for Atlanta, which has won 12 of its last 16 and is 8 games ahead of the Giants in the NL wild-card race.
Beachy (6-2) gave up four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in winning his third straight decision.
``We're playing every game with a purpose, and that's to make the playoffs,' Beachy said. ``There's stuff on the line.'
Miley (0-1) gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in four-plus innings in his major league debut.
``He actually came out and threw the ball good,' Gibson said. ``He was throwing strikes, made some mistakes. The big mistake was to Uggla. That's not where he wanted to locate that.'
Miley wasn't satisfied.
``I wanted to go out and give the team a better chance to win,' he said.
Miley had his first major league hit in the fifth.
``I wish I could have had a better outcome, but it was an awesome experience,' he said.
Miley, who began his season at Double-A Mobile, was 4-1 with a 3.64 ERA at Triple-A Reno. He was called up when right-hander Jason Marquis was placed on the disabled list with a fractured right fibula.
Miley, the Diamondbacks' minor league pitcher of the year in 2010, was drafted by Arizona from Southeastern Louisiana in 2008. He was a Braves fan while growing up in Loranger, La.
Arizona gave Miley an early lead when Justin Upton singled and scored on Montero's double in the first. Beachy then recorded 12 straight outs before giving up singles to Collin Cowgill and Miley in the fifth. Beachy struck out Willie Bloomquist to end the inning.
Atlanta's Michael Bourn ended the sixth with a highlight-worthy catch against the centerfield wall.
With two outs and Miguel Montero on first base following a walk from Beachy, Paul Goldschmidt hit a long fly ball to center field. Bourn made the leaping catch before crashing into the wall and falling back onto the warning track.
Jose Constanza ran over from right field to help Bourn return to his feet. Goldschmidt, uncertain if Bourn held onto the ball, kept running before stopping near third base and looking back at Bourn. Beachy stood applauding as he waited for Bourn to leave the field.
The Braves outhit the Diamondbacks 13-5.
NOTES: Josh Collmenter, who gave up only two hits in six shutout innings in a 2-1 win over Atlanta on May 19 at Arizona, will start for the Diamondbacks in Sunday's final game of the series. Tim Hudson will try for his 13th win for Atlanta. ... OF Chris Young, hitting only .123 in August, was given a day off, but Gibson said ``His swing is fine.'... Beachy's single in the second gave the rookie his first RBI.
The Associated Press News Service
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