Braves second baseman Dan Uggla popped out in foul territory, grounded out to the pitcher and drew a walk against the Astros Saturday.

That represents a bit of progress in light of Uggla's slow start at the plate this spring.

“Small victories right now with him,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Him and (hitting coach Greg Walker) are working extremely hard in getting him going. I'm not concerned because it's still March. We've still got a lot of at-bats to get him ready for the season.”

The reason Uggla's spring struggles could cause more consternation than usual is because he's coming off what he calls his worst big-league season. In 523 at-bats in 2012 Uggla hit .220 with 19 home runs, 78 RBI and 168 strikeouts.

Uggla struck out four times against the Nationals Friday, including consecutive three-pitch strikeouts, to push his strikeout total to 10 in 16 spring at-bats. The 0-for-2 day against the Astros dropped his batting average to .111 in the spring.

But Uggla said he felt better at the plate Saturday. He said that plus some strong swings in batting practice lately have him positive he's on the right track.