Houston at Atlanta

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Houston (47-61) «050000400020112110
Atlanta (57-52)122220000020011223

Pinch-hitting Astros pitcher Jennings ends 14-inning slugfest with RBI

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ATLANTA -- His batting average didn't indicate that pitcher Jason Jennings was a threat as a hitter. He sounded like one, though.

Jennings came through with a pinch-hit, two-out RBI single in the 14th inning to give Houston a 12-11 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, ending a three-game losing skid.

Jennings, who was 1-for-17 entering the game, singled to right on a 2-1 pitch from Oscar Villarreal (1-1), scoring Jason Lane from second.

"I had a good hitter's count, so I was sitting on a fastball and that's what I got," Jennings said. "I knew he didn't want to walk me with the leadoff hitter coming up next."

Despite his average -- he raised it from .059 to .111 with the hit -- Jennings wasn't surprised that he hit the game-winner. In six seasons, he had a .219 career batting average with two homers, 14 doubles and 25 RBI in 302 at-bats.

"He's a good hitter. He swings the bat good," said Astros manager Phil Garner. "It was good for him and certainly good for us."

Especially considering his recent performances on the mound.

In his last start on Sunday, Jennings gave up 11 runs, eight hits and three walks in the first inning against San Diego and was gone after getting only two outs. It was the most runs given up by a pitcher to start a game since Aug. 13, 2006, when Kansas City's Luke Hudson allowed 11 runs against Cleveland.

He made a relief appearance Wednesday night and allowed one run in Houston's 12-3 loss to the Braves. Jennings, 2-7 with a 6.03 ERA, is scheduled to start Saturday at Florida.

"Mentally, it helps a little," Jennings said of the hit. "But I don't get paid to hit. I'm paid to pitch."

Mark McLemore (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless 13th. Brian Moehler earned his first save with a scoreless 14th.

The Braves tied it at 11-all in the 12th when Matt Diaz hit an 0-1 pitch for a two-run homer off Brad Lidge. Corky Miller had reached on an infield hit.

Lane, who earlier hit a three-run homer, hit a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning to give the Astros an 11-9 lead.

Carlos Lee singled with one out against Ron Mahay in the 11th and took third on a single to right by Ty Wigginton. Lane then hoisted a flyball to center, easily scoring Lee. Wigginton took second on a passed ball and scored when second baseman Kelly Johnson booted Mike Lamb's grounder.

The Braves have scored in double figures in their last four games, scoring 49 runs on 68 hits. The Astros, meanwhile, have given up 53 runs in their last four.

The first nine Houston runs had come as a result of home runs, a two-run shot by Lance Berkman, Lane's three-run homer and a grand slam by Lamb.

Pinch-hitter Lamb hit his bases-loaded home run in the eighth on a 1-1 pitch off Rafael Soriano to tie it at 9-9. Lee opened the inning with a single and took second on an infield hit by Wigginton. Lane loaded the bases when he reached on an error by third baseman Willie Harris.

Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur, Harris and Diaz each had two RBI for the Braves, who had 22 hits.

"You don't expect games like that," said Teixeira, "but someone had to lose it."

Harris put Atlanta ahead 7-5 in the fifth with a two-out, two-run triple off Woody Williams, the 13th hit off the 40-year-old right-hander. Williams lasted only five innings.

The Braves made it 9-5 in the sixth on a two-run double by Francoeur.

Teixeira hit his second homer as a Brave and 15th of the season. The two-run, 405-foot shot over the right-center field fence in the fourth tied the game at 5-5 after Harris had opened the inning with a double.

Teixeira, acquired from Texas on Tuesday in a seven-player trade, hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs in his Atlanta debut Wednesday night.

Lane hit a three-run homer, his fifth, and Berkman -- who has homered in four consecutive games -- hit a two-run shot in a five-run third inning off Atlanta rookie Jo-Jo Reyes.

The left-hander pitched three innings, allowing four hits and five runs while walking four and striking out one.

The Braves opened the scoring when Andruw Jones hit a solo home run, his 21st, in the second for a 1-0 lead. Atlanta added two runs off Williams in the third on a run-scoring groundout by Jones and an RBI double by Brian McCann.

The Braves beat Arizona 14-0 on Sunday, and defeated Houston 12-4 on Tuesday night and 12-3 on Wednesday night. Houston, meanwhile, lost to San Diego 18-11 on Sunday before the three-game series with Atlanta.

Notes

  • Braves SS Edgar Renteria left the game in the eighth inning with a sprained right ankle and sore back. He was injured on a one-hop liner by Wigginton and will miss at least three games, Cox said.
  • After the game, the Braves optioned Reyes to Triple-A Richmond and recalled RHP Lance Cormier.
  • Chipper Jones replaced Renteria at shortstop, his first time at that position since June 12-18, 2000. LF Harris replaced Chipper Jones at 3B, a position he had never played in the majors, although he has played some at second.
  • Atlanta RHP Buddy Carlyle, who left Wednesday night's game in the sixth inning with a hyperextended elbow, shouldn't miss a turn. "He told me he'd be fine," Cox said.
  • The 13 hits allowed by Williams matched his career-high set July 3, 1999, against Colorado.
  • The grand slam by Lamb was the seventh this year by the Astros, tying the franchise record set in 2001.
  • Villarreal singled in the 13th inning, his first major league hit after going 0-for-10.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Pitcher Jason Jennings wins it with his second hit of the season, earning Jason Lane's high-five.  (AP)
Pitcher Jason Jennings wins it with his second hit of the season, earning Jason Lane's high-five. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Teixeira
AB 7
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

J. Lane
AB 4
R 3
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
 

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Houston Astros
Chris Burke, 2B7010121 .222
Mark Loretta, 1B-SS5100111 .282
Lance Berkman, RF6112111 .261
Carlos Lee, LF7320013 .295
Ty Wigginton, 3B5320122 .279
Jason Lane, CF4314110 .178
Eric Bruntlett, SS3000012 .260
   a- Mike Lamb, PH-1B4124000 .303
Brad Ausmus, C5010232 .237
Woody Williams, P2000002 .091
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000 .241
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   c- Luke Scott, PH1000000 .246
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   d- Craig Biggio, PH1000000 .247
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   e- Eric Munson, PH1000012 .293
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
    Mark McLemore, P0000000 .000
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .250
   f- Jason Jennings, PH1011000 .111
Totals53121111713  
a-homered for Bruntlett in the 8th
b-grounded out for Williams in the 6th
c-flied out for Borkowski in the 8th
d-grounded out for Qualls in the 11th
e-struck out for Miller in the 12th
f-singled for McLemore in the 14th
Batting
HR - Lance Berkman (19, Reyes), Jason Lane (5, Reyes), Mike Lamb (11, Soriano)
SF - Jason Lane (2)
SH - Mark Loretta (3)
RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (69), Jason Lane 4 (16), Mike Lamb 4 (32), Jason Jennings (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Jennings (1)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Burke-Loretta-Lamb, Burke-Loretta-Lamb
Houston Astros
Woody Williams 51377022 5.41
Dave Borkowski 2122210 5.21
Chad Qualls 3300030 3.42
Trever Miller 1000130 4.99
Brad Lidge (BS,4) 1222121 2.78
Mark McLemore (W,1-0) 1200020 5.91
Brian Moehler (S,1) 1100010 5.50
HBP - McCann (by Woody Williams), Francoeur (by Trever Miller)
WP - Brad Lidge (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Woody Williams 93-64, Dave Borkowski 52-32, Chad Qualls 35-27, Trever Miller 22-11, Brad Lidge 19-12, Mark McLemore 18-13, Brian Moehler 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Woody Williams 6-7, Dave Borkowski 3-2, Chad Qualls 4-0, Brian Moehler 1-0
Batters Faced - Woody Williams 29, Dave Borkowski 9, Chad Qualls 10, Trever Miller 5, Brad Lidge 6, Mark McLemore 5, Brian Moehler 3
Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, LF-3B8132036 .324
Edgar Renteria, SS5010005 .336
    Matt Diaz, LF3122011 .345
Chipper Jones, 3B-SS6210204 .335
Mark Teixeira, 1B7222123 .296
Andruw Jones, CF7122022 .219
Brian McCann, C5121112 .264
Jeff Francoeur, RF6032012 .306
Kelly Johnson, 2B7120027 .296
Jo-Jo Reyes, P1010000 .375
   a- Scott Thorman, PH1000012 .219
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   b- Yunel Escobar, PH1110000 .329
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Woodward, PH1000010 .218
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
    Bob Wickman, P0000000 .000
   d- Chuck James, PH1000001 .158
    Oscar Villarreal, P1010000 .250
   e- Corky Miller, PH11100001.000
    Ron Mahay, P0000000 .000
Totals61112211414  
a-struck out for Reyes in the 3rd
b-singled for Moylan in the 5th
c-struck out for Dotel in the 7th
d-grounded out for Wickman in the 9th
e-singled for Mahay in the 12th
Batting
2B - Willie Harris (14, Williams), Mark Teixeira (25, Williams), Brian McCann (27, Williams), Jeff Francoeur (28, Borkowski)
3B - Willie Harris (4, Williams)
HR - Matt Diaz (6, Lidge), Mark Teixeira (15, Williams), Andruw Jones (21, Williams)
RBI - Willie Harris 2 (21), Matt Diaz 2 (29), Mark Teixeira 2 (55), Andruw Jones 2 (72), Brian McCann (64), Jeff Francoeur 2 (72)
2-OUT RBI - Willie Harris 2 (7), Mark Teixeira 2 (21), Jeff Francoeur 2 (32)
CS - Andruw Jones (1, 2nd base by Qualls/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Jones-Teixeira
PB - Brian McCann (6)
E - Willie Harris (3, Misplayed grounder), Kelly Johnson (10, Misplayed grounder), Edgar Renteria (10, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Jo-Jo Reyes 3454412 8.72
Peter Moylan 2000040 1.94
Tyler Yates (H,11) 1000010 5.05
Octavio Dotel 1000000 3.60
Rafael Soriano 1343021 3.94
Bob Wickman 1000010 4.10
Ron Mahay 3321120 2.72
Oscar Villarreal (L,1-1) 2111220 3.75
IBB - Berkman by Oscar Villarreal
HBP - Wigginton (by Jo-Jo Reyes), Lane (by Oscar Villarreal)
Pitches-Strikes - Jo-Jo Reyes 70-37, Peter Moylan 24-17, Tyler Yates 15-10, Octavio Dotel 11-7, Rafael Soriano 25-18, Bob Wickman 18-11, Ron Mahay 54-32, Oscar Villarreal 33-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jo-Jo Reyes 3-5, Peter Moylan 1-1, Tyler Yates 1-1, Rafael Soriano 1-1, Ron Mahay 6-2, Oscar Villarreal 3-1
Batters Faced - Jo-Jo Reyes 18, Peter Moylan 6, Tyler Yates 3, Octavio Dotel 3, Rafael Soriano 7, Bob Wickman 3, Ron Mahay 14, Oscar Villarreal 10
Game Information
Attendance - 35659
Game Time - 4:59
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Paul Nauert