HOUSTON -- Willy Taveras wasn't sure how to act after hitting his first major league home run.
"When I hit the ball I just started running and tried to look professional," he said.
Taveras hit only 15 home runs in six minor league seasons.
"It felt real good, but I'm not a home run hitter. I don't know what happened. I was just trying to get on base and steal bases," he said. "I guess I just hit that ball really well, but my career is not going to be hitting home runs."
Making his third start of the year, Backe (1-0) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out eight, walked one and gave up a two-run homer to Chipper Jones.
"I got extra energy after the home run by Jones. I didn't think it was a home run and it made me a little mad. It gave me extra energy. I thought it hit below the yellow line," Backe said. "You get tired, but that is where the mental part of the game comes in. You just have to keep grinding."
Houston, coming off a 1-0, 12-inning loss to the Braves, ended a 15-inning scoreless streak when Brad Ausmus hit an RBI single in the second that tied the score 1-all. The Astros took a 4-1 lead with two outs in the fifth on RBI doubles by Adam Everett and Jeff Bagwell around a run-scoring single by Craig Biggio.
Jones' homer cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth.
"Chipper looks good. He's been swinging the bat good all season," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.
After Atlanta loaded the bases with none out in the eighth, John Franco struck out Adam LaRoche, and Russ Springer got Brian Jordan to ground into a double play. Brad Lidge, Houston's fifth pitcher, struck out two in the ninth and got his fourth save.
"It is frustrating. Things are starting to mount up offensively. We are not coming through in situations where we need to get runners in," Jones said.
John Thomson (1-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings.
"I wasn't getting the corners in the fifth inning and I'm just wracking my brain right now. I'm thinking about all the little things too much," Thomson said.
Atlanta's Raul Mondesi, who hit an RBI triple in the second, was ejected by first base umpire Mike DiMuro in the seventh inning for arguing that Bagwell didn't tag him after grabbing third baseman Morgan Ensberg's wide throw to first.
"How can he see the play behind Bagwell? That was a good opportunity to tie the game since it was a leadoff play," Mondesi said. "He took it away from us. They've got to be more consistent."
Cox also had a problem with the call.
"There was no question. He missed the tag. He was safe easy," Cox said.
Houston's Jason Lane went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 11 of 13 games this season. ... Jones' homer tied him with Reggie Smith (314) for fourth among switch-hitters. ... Biggio needs one RBI to reach 1,000. The only player with more for the Astros is Bagwell at 1,517.
|Players of the Game|
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|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||0||1||0||0||2||2||.190|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.308|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||3||1||2||2||1||1||0||.396|
|Johnny Estrada, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.237|
|Pete Orr, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Eddie Perez, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.244|
|Brian Jordan, LF||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.220|
|Andruw Jones, CF||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.189|
|Raul Mondesi, RF||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||.250|
|Jorge Sosa, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Roman Colon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Julio Franco, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.300|
|John Thomson, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|b- Ryan Langerhans, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.273|
|a-struck out for Colon in the 9th|
|b-lined out for Thomson in the 7th|
|2B - Chipper Jones (7, Franco)|
|3B - Raul Mondesi (1, Backe)|
|HR - Chipper Jones (4, Backe)|
|SH - John Thomson (2)|
|RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (10), Raul Mondesi (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Raul Mondesi (2)|
|CS - Rafael Furcal (2, 2nd base by Backe/Ausmus)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Furcal-LaRoche|
|John Thomson (L,1-2)||6||7||4||4||1||2||0||4.26|
|IBB - Lamb by Roman Colon|
|WP - Roman Colon (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Thomson 76-46, Jorge Sosa 16-11, Roman Colon 21-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Thomson 6-9, Jorge Sosa 1-1|
|Batters Faced - John Thomson 25, Jorge Sosa 5, Roman Colon 6|
|Adam Everett, SS||3||1||1||1||1||1||0||.170|
|Craig Biggio, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.340|
|Jeff Bagwell, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.245|
|Russ Springer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Lidge, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Lane, RF||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.352|
|Morgan Ensberg, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.279|
|Luke Scott, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.182|
|a- Mike Lamb, PH-LF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.231|
|Brad Ausmus, C||4||0||2||1||0||1||2||.176|
|Willy Taveras, CF||3||2||1||1||1||0||2||.286|
|Brandon Backe, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||1||.600|
|b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.375|
|Dan Wheeler, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Franco, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Vizcaino, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||.364|
|a-was walked intentionally for Scott in the 8th|
|b-popped out for Backe in the 7th|
|2B - Adam Everett (4, Thomson), Jeff Bagwell (3, Thomson)|
|HR - Willy Taveras (1, Sosa)|
|RBI - Adam Everett (3), Craig Biggio (5), Jeff Bagwell (7), Brad Ausmus (2), Willy Taveras (3)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Everett (1), Craig Biggio (4), Jeff Bagwell (2), Brad Ausmus (1)|
|SB - Jason Lane (4, 2nd base off Thomson/Estrada), Willy Taveras (4, 2nd base off Thomson/Estrada)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Ensberg-Biggio-Vizcaino|
|Brandon Backe (W,1-0)||7||7||3||3||1||8||1||3.93|
|John Franco (H,2)||0.1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|Russ Springer (H,2)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.06|
|Brad Lidge (S,4)||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 100-69, Dan Wheeler 3-2, John Franco 11-6, Russ Springer 2-2, Brad Lidge 14-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 5-7, Russ Springer 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 28, Dan Wheeler 1, John Franco 3, Russ Springer 1, Brad Lidge 4|
|Attendance - 32146|
|Game Time - 2:41|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Mark Carlson|