Houston at Atlanta

W: C. James (9-8) L: C. Sampson (7-8)
HR: HOU - L. Berkman (17)   ATL - B. McCann (12), K. Johnson (11), J. Francoeur (12), K. Johnson (12)

Johnson leads way as Braves put on impressive show for Teixeira

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- Mark Teixeira didn't even play, and already he's earning credit for the Atlanta Braves power game.

Kelly Johnson had four hits, including two homers, and Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann also hit home runs to help the Braves welcome Teixeira back to town with a 12-4 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

"It was kind of a buzz in here," Johnson said of the anticipation in the clubhouse for Teixeira's arrival. "You could feel it out there, too. It was a little bit of extra adrenaline. We're all excited."

Johnson drove in five runs and McCann drove in four, including a two-run double in the eighth. The Braves had 15 hits.

Teixeira, who starred in college at Georgia Tech, was obtained from Texas in a seven-player trade that was finalized earlier in the day. He was activated for the game but did not arrive until the seventh inning.

Grinning widely, Teixeira waved to fans from the dugout as he enjoyed his first ovation from Atlanta fans. The Turner Field video board showed Teixeira wearing his new No. 24 uniform.

Teixeira took batting practice in the team's indoor cage in case he was needed as a pinch-hitter.

"When I got here it was 5-4," Teixeira said, adding he told Braves manager Bobby Cox he would be ready to hit. Instead, the Braves scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh.

"The boys took care of business," Teixeira said.

Cox said he would have used Teixeira "if it meant something."

Teixeira, who averaged 35 homers in his first four seasons in Texas and has 13 this year, is expected to start Wednesday night and said he was told by Cox he will hit fourth.

Johnson enjoyed his biggest game of the season while hitting seventh, one spot ahead of first baseman Julio Franco. The addition of Teixeira could make Johnson a No. 8 hitter on Wednesday.

"We joke around about it," Johnson said. "It's a good lineup one through eight. It really won't matter where you're hitting."

The Braves took a 5-1 lead with nine hits in four innings off Houston starter Chris Sampson (7-8).

The Astros rallied with three runs in the fifth. Eric Bruntlett, who walked against Braves starter Chuck James, scored following singles by Eric Munson and pinch-hitter Chris Burke. Craig Biggio's two-run double to right-center cut Atlanta's lead to 5-4.

James (9-8) won despite giving up more than two runs for the first time in six starts. James gave up six hits and four runs in five innings.

Lance Berkman hit a first-inning homer off James.

Atlanta took a 2-1 lead in the second on McCann's homer and a sacrifice fly by Franco. Edgar Renteria, who had three hits, reached in the third on a single and scored on Andruw Jones' sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead.

Johnson, who has been sharing time with rookie Yunel Escobar at second base, padded the lead with his two-run homer in the fourth. Johnson's three-run homer off Matt Albers capped the Braves' four-run seventh.

Johnson's only negative for the night was a fielding error on Munson's grounder in the sixth. The miscue almost allowed Bruntlett to score from first. Francoeur's throw from right skipped past Renteria, but third baseman Chipper Jones backed up Renteria and threw out Bruntlett at the plate to end the inning.

Bruntlett made three errors at short for Houston. The final one led to two unearned runs in the eighth.

"We stunk," said Houston manager Phil Garner.

Said Bruntlett: "It was one of those times when you want to find a hole and hide in it, but there weren't any holes out there."


  • Johnson had four hits and hit two homers for the second time in his career. He also hit two homers on April 22 at New York. The five RBI are not his career high; he drove in six on June 17, 2005 at Cincinnati.
  • Houston 3B Ty Wigginton had his second two-hit game in his second start since coming to the Astros in a trade with Tampa Bay. He stole second base in the second inning, matching his total for steals in 98 games with the Devil Rays.
  • Johnson, a converted outfielder, committed his ninth error in his 100th game.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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The combined stat line for Jeff Francoeur (left) and Kelly Johnson: 7-for-9, 3 HRs, 5 runs, 6 RBI.  (AP)
The combined stat line for Jeff Francoeur (left) and Kelly Johnson: 7-for-9, 3 HRs, 5 runs, 6 RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game

K. Johnson
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 2

B. McCann
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

May 23, 2017
MLB Power Rankings (5/23) (1:51)
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B4012010 .248
Mark Loretta, 1B4000011 .290
Lance Berkman, RF4111001 .259
Carlos Lee, LF4000001 .295
Ty Wigginton, 3B4020010 .279
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .250
Jason Lane, CF4000021 .162
Eric Bruntlett, SS2100201 .275
Eric Munson, C4110002 .300
Chris Sampson, P1000010 .154
   a- Chris Burke, PH1111000 .227
    Mark McLemore, P0000000 .000
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000 .247
    Matt Albers, P0000000 .182
    Mike Lamb, 3B0000000 .299
a-singled for Sampson in the 5th
b-grounded out for McLemore in the 7th
2B - Craig Biggio (25, James), Ty Wigginton (22, James)
HR - Lance Berkman (17, James)
RBI - Craig Biggio 2 (38), Lance Berkman (66), Chris Burke (15)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (22)
SB - Ty Wigginton (2, 2nd base off James/McCann)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Lance Berkman 1
DP - Biggio-Bruntlett-Loretta, Berkman-Munson-Bruntlett
E - Eric Bruntlett 3 (5, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Chris Sampson (L,7-8) 4955002 4.53
Mark McLemore 2211021 6.52
Matt Albers 1344201 5.57
Brian Moehler 1120020 5.80
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sampson 76-45, Mark McLemore 29-19, Matt Albers 31-15, Brian Moehler 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sampson 4-7, Mark McLemore 1-3, Matt Albers 1-2, Brian Moehler 2-1
Batters Faced - Chris Sampson 20, Mark McLemore 8, Matt Albers 8, Brian Moehler 6
Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, LF5010001 .323
Edgar Renteria, SS5330002 .337
Chipper Jones, 3B4110112 .340
Andruw Jones, CF3201110 .215
Brian McCann, C4124000 .266
Jeff Francoeur, RF5331012 .300
Kelly Johnson, 2B4245000 .295
Julio Franco, 1B3011000 .221
Chuck James, P2000001 .162
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000011 .339
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
   b- Yunel Escobar, PH1000001 .314
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
    Jose Ascanio, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Moylan in the 6th
b-grounded out for Yates in the 7th
2B - Brian McCann (26, Moehler)
HR - Brian McCann (12, Sampson), Jeff Francoeur (12, McLemore), Kelly Johnson 2 (12, Sampson, Albers)
SF - Andruw Jones (5), Brian McCann (4), Julio Franco (2)
RBI - Andruw Jones (69), Brian McCann 4 (63), Jeff Francoeur (69), Kelly Johnson 5 (55), Julio Franco (15)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 2 (22), Kelly Johnson 3 (31)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Jeff Francoeur 1
E - Kelly Johnson (9, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Chuck James (W,9-8) 5644131 3.70
Peter Moylan (H,4) 1000110 2.01
Tyler Yates (H,10) 1000010 5.16
Rafael Soriano 1000000 3.45
Jose Ascanio 1000010 1.29
Pitches-Strikes - Chuck James 82-54, Peter Moylan 14-7, Tyler Yates 7-6, Rafael Soriano 12-9, Jose Ascanio 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chuck James 5-7, Peter Moylan 2-0, Tyler Yates 2-0
Batters Faced - Chuck James 22, Peter Moylan 4, Tyler Yates 3, Rafael Soriano 3, Jose Ascanio 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32315
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Charlie Reliford