HOUSTON -- Jason Lane knew that his hitting slump had to end sometime, and he was ecstatic that it ended in such grand fashion.
Lane, who had just 12 hits in May and entered Sunday's game with only a pair in June, had three hits, including a three-run homer and a career-high five RBI to lead the Houston Astros to a 14-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Eric Munson added two homers as the Astros got hits from 11 different players en route to scoring their most runs of the season.
"I felt the last month I was just waiting for a game like this," said Lane, a career .258 hitter who entered the game hitting .193. "I thought that at any time I could have one."
Munson had a solo homer in the third and a three-run shot in the sixth. Lane hit his homer in the first inning to help the Astros jump out to a 4-0 lead. He added a two-run double in the sixth as Houston built an 11-4 advantage.
"He's certainly not a .200 hitter," Astros first baseman Lance Berkman said of Lane. "We all knew that and we knew he was going to find his swing."
The Astros jumped on Horacio Ramirez (2-2) almost immediately, tagging him for three hits and four runs in the first inning. Houston was ahead 1-0 when Lane hit a two-out homer just into the lower deck stands in right field. It was his 10th of the season and first since May 21.
"It was good to see Lane have that big day," said Astros manager Phil Garner. "To have a day like today is really good for you. All the sudden you feel locked in."
Ramirez (2-2) left the game in the second after being knocked to the ground when he was hit in the forehead by a hit by Berkman. Ramirez fell flat on his back and then rolled over to his stomach where he remained motionless for a few seconds before moving.
He got up on his own power and was escorted to the bullpen as a trainer pressed a towel to his forehead.
"The only thing I remember was releasing the pitch," said Ramirez, who had a swollen forehead. "I don't recall the pitch or the ball hitting me."
Others remember the moment distinctly.
"It was one of the scariest things I've ever seen in baseball," catcher Brian McCann said. "It's something you never wish on anybody. It's awful, but he got up and wanted to keep pitching."
Ramirez said Berkman called to check on him and apologize. But Ramirez said he "really didn't need to apologize at all. It's just part of the game."
Braves manager Bobby Cox said Ramirez should be fine and that he expects him to make his next start.
Wandy Rodriguez (8-3) allowed seven hits and four runs, including three homers, and struck out five in six innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in his last start when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. But with the Astros hitting the way they were on Sunday, he didn't have to be.
Munson's solo home run in the third and Mike Lamb's sacrifice fly made it 9-3.
Garner was impressed with Munson's performance. His four RBI are a career-high and it was his third multi home run game.
"He's been really a nice surprise," Garner said. "I didn't realize he was going to catch as well as he has when we saw him in spring training. But he is really starting to hit too and I think he's just going to get better and better."
Edgar Renteria hit his second home run of the series to left center field in the fifth that made it 9-4.
Chris Reitsma lasted just 2/3 innings after allowing seven hits and five runs in the sixth inning.
The loss drops the Braves to 3-11 in the last 14 games.
"We hit the ball...extremely well all day long but we didn't have a good day pitching -- that's for sure," Cox said. "The off day comes for us at a good time."
|Wandy Rodriguez allows seven hits, four runs and strikes out five in six innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||3|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||5||1||4||1||0||1||0|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||5||1||2||1||0||1||2|
|Andruw Jones, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Ryan Langerhans, CF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||2||2||1||0||1||1|
|Matt Diaz, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2|
|Brian Jordan, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||0||1|
|Brian McCann, C||2||0||0||0||1||1||1|
|a- Todd Pratt, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|Horacio Ramirez, P||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Oscar Villarreal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|b- Pete Orr, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Chad Paronto, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Macay McBride, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|c- Wilson Betemit, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Chris Reitsma, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Tyler Yates, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mike Remlinger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|d- Adam LaRoche, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a-flied out for McCann in the 8th|
|b-walked for Villarreal in the 4th|
|c-hit into fielder's choice for McBride in the 6th|
|d-lined out for Remlinger in the 9th|
|3B - Jeff Francoeur (, Rodriguez)|
|HR - Edgar Renteria (, Rodriguez), Chipper Jones (, Rodriguez), Jeff Francoeur (, Rodriguez)|
|RBI - Edgar Renteria (), Chipper Jones (), Jeff Francoeur (), Brian Jordan ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur ()|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Giles-Renteria-Jordan|
|E - Jeff Francoeur (, throwing)|
|Horacio Ramirez (L,-)||1.2||6||7||6||1||1||1|
|HBP - Burke (by Horacio Ramirez), Taveras (by Chris Reitsma)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Horacio Ramirez 40-25, Oscar Villarreal 26-16, Chad Paronto 38-21, Macay McBride 5-3, Chris Reitsma 29-17, Tyler Yates 13-7, Mike Remlinger 10-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Horacio Ramirez 3-1, Oscar Villarreal 1-3, Chad Paronto 2-0, Chris Reitsma 1-1, Tyler Yates 1-2, Mike Remlinger 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Horacio Ramirez 13, Oscar Villarreal 8, Chad Paronto 7, Macay McBride 1, Chris Reitsma 10, Tyler Yates 4, Mike Remlinger 4|
|Craig Biggio, 2B||4||2||3||1||1||0||1|
|Chris Sampson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Trever Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Philip Barzilla, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Dave Borkowski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mike Lamb, 3B||5||0||1||1||0||2||5|
|Chris Burke, CF||2||2||1||0||0||0||1|
|Willy Taveras, CF||1||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||2||2||1||1||0||3|
|Preston Wilson, LF||4||1||1||1||1||1||0|
|Jason Lane, RF||5||2||3||5||0||1||2|
|Eric Munson, C||5||2||2||4||0||1||1|
|Adam Everett, SS||4||1||1||0||1||0||0|
|Wandy Rodriguez, P||1||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|b- Eric Bruntlett, PH-2B||1||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|a-struck out for Barzilla in the 8th|
|b-singled for Rodriguez in the 6th|
|2B - Craig Biggio (, Ramirez), Jason Lane (, Reitsma)|
|HR - Jason Lane (, Ramirez), Eric Munson 2 (, Villarreal, Reitsma)|
|SF - Mike Lamb ()|
|SH - Wandy Rodriguez 2 ()|
|RBI - Craig Biggio (), Mike Lamb (), Lance Berkman (), Preston Wilson (), Jason Lane 5 (), Eric Munson 4 ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (), Jason Lane 3 ()|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Everett-Biggio-Berkman, Bruntlett-Everett-Berkman|
|Wandy Rodriguez (W,-)||6||7||4||4||3||5||3|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 96-58, Chris Sampson 6-5, Trever Miller 9-9, Philip Barzilla 8-5, Dave Borkowski 12-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 9-3, Chris Sampson 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 27, Chris Sampson 3, Trever Miller 3, Philip Barzilla 2, Dave Borkowski 4|
|Attendance - 39523|
|Game Time - 2:50|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Greg Gibson|