Backe, Biggio lead Astros past Braves
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The
finally scored more than one run. Unfortunately for them, it was not enough to beat
Backe worked seven effective innings and
collected two hits and an RBI as the
recorded a 5-3 triumph over the struggling Braves.
Limited to just one run in each of its last three games, including a 1-0 victory over Houston in 12 innings on Monday, Atlanta managed to cross the plate three times in this one. But that was all Backe (1-0) would allow, scattering seven hits and a walk while striking out eight for his first win in three starts this season.
"Getting seven innings out of Brandon was huge for us tonight," Astros manager
said. "We knew we were a little short in the bullpen and he came up big. He's fun to watch out there. He plays with so much energy."
Backe fell behind early as
delivered a two-out RBI triple in the second inning. The Astros drew even in the bottom half as
plated a run with an infield single with two outs before rallying for three in the fifth against Braves starter
With two outs in the inning,
drove in rookie
with a double before scoring on an RBI single by Biggio, who added an infield hit in the seventh. The first hit was the 2,655th of Biggio's career, moving him past
for sole possession of 64th place on the all-time list.
"Somebody told me that I need to get out of my own way," Thomson said. "I am thinking of the little things too much. In the fifth, I wasn't getting the corners like I had been earlier. I just tried to make my best pitch."
capped the outburst with a run-scoring double, giving Houston a 4-1 lead.
"It was nice to see a crooked number on the board for a change," Bagwell said.
"We did a nice job with the bats tonight," Garner said. "The three-run inning all came with two outs and came on some two-strike pitches. We came through with some base hits for a change."
drew the Braves within a run with a two-run homer in the sixth. But his fourth blast of the season did not come without controversy as the Astros believed the ball hit just below the line on the left-center field wall.
"I didn't think it was out, and that made me mad," said Backe, who had not surrendered a homer in his first 16 1/3 innings this season. "It gave me a burst of energy, and that helped me get myself back on track."
Jones' homer was the 314th of his career, tying him with
for fifth all-time among switch hitters.
Atlanta also was upset with a call in the seventh when Mondesi was tagged out at first on a throw by third baseman
that was off the mark. Mondesi, who led off the inning, was ejected by first base umpire Mike DiMuro after arguing the ruling.
"There is no question he was safe," Braves manager
said. "That would have given us a good opportunity to tie up the game. I had no idea he was thrown out."
"It was frustrating," Jones added. "On both of (Houston's) stolen bases, the runners were out, and Raul was safe by a mile. Things are starting to mount up."
Taveras gave the Astros some breathing room with his first career blast leading off the bottom of the frame.
"I don't really know what happened. I'm not a home-run hitter," Taveras said. "I got a pretty good swing on it and it went out. My career is not going to be made on hitting home runs."
Atlanta wasted a chance to score in the eighth, loading the bases with none out but failing to push across a run against the Astros' trio of
and former Brave
"Wheeler was in there just for one hitter after going two (innings) last night," Garner said. "John got a big strikeout of (Adam) LaRoche and that set it up for Springer to come in and get the double play (against
worked around a walk in the ninth for his fourth save.
Thomson (1-2) lasted six innings, yielding four runs and seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
was hitless in four at-bats, stretching his drought to a career high-tying 0-for-23. He also went 23 straight at-bats without a hit from August 5-19, 1997, his first full season in the major leagues.
"Our offense is not clicking,"
said. "These things take their toll. You just have to keep playing. Andruw is not going to hit .190 all year."