HOUSTON (Ticker) -- With all the talk of
' return to Houston,
showed that another former Astro still has a lot left in him.
Hampton worked seven strong innings and
went 4-for-4 with four runs scored as the
coasted to an 11-1 rout of the struggling Astros.
Released by Houston in spring training, Reynolds will make his first start against his former team in Thursday's series finale. His return has been the main topic of discussion.
But Hampton (1-1), who won a career-high 22 games with the Astros in 1999, set down the first 10 hitters while Sheffield and the offense gave him a sizable cushion.
"I've got a lot of really good friends on the other side and it is always good to face them," Hampton said. "I always want to do well against them because they are such a talented ballteam."
The lefthander allowed just one run and four hits in an 86-pitch outing. He improved to 2-0 in four starts against the Astros.
"Hampton was absolutely great tonight," Atlanta manager
said. "That is the same Hampton that I saw three or four years ago. He is right there."
Atlanta has won four straight and 13 of 15 as well as six in a row on the road. The Braves have yielded just two runs and 11 hits in the first two games of the series.
Sheffield homered and drove in three runs and
added three hits and four RBI as part of Atlanta's 13-hit attack. Jones' RBI double opened the scoring and sparked a three-run fourth inning that included RBI singles by
"Our offense is really coming around after taking our lumps earlier this year," Jones said. "It was still 0-0 in the fourth inning, but I thought we were swinging the bat well and we had turned over the lineup."
The Braves batted around for five runs in the sixth and a 10-1 advantage. Jones capped it with a three-run double off the right field fence, just missing his seventh career grand slam.
(0-3) remained winless after allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings. He had a second straight rough outing after being pounded for five runs and six hits in a season-low three innings in a loss to the
New York Mets
"For three innings, he was as good as he's been all year," Houston manager
said. "But for whatever reason, he started getting the ball up and they started hitting him. He just lost command of his fastball."
Houston lost for the sixth time in eight games and its offense has been a major culprit. The Astros have scored just 12 runs in their last six losses.
broke up Hampton's fast start in the fourth inning with a one-out homer, his second of the season. But a pair of singles by
were the only other hits Houston managed off Hampton.
"He pitched great tonight," Astros first baseman
said. "That is the best I think I have seen him in awhile. His pitches were all down and away and he kept hitting the spots he needed. His location was tremendous, and it's that kind of location that has been the key to his career."
Miller pitched out of trouble in the first inning and set down eight straight Braves before walking Sheffield to open the fourth. After Jones doubled him in,
walked and Fick doubled. Hampton, who batted .344 a year ago, recorded his first hit of the season and singled in a run.
The Braves made it 5-1 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.
led off with a double and Sheffield singled him in. Sheffield stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by
"We all got a good look at (Miller) the first time through the lineup,"
said. "I think we made good enough judgments against Miller, and we are starting to do that against everyone. We did that tonight."