Atlanta at Houston

W: V. Nunez (1-2) L: B. Backe (9-14)
HR: ATL - J. Anderson (2), J. Anderson (3)   HOU - H. Pence (25)

Braves 11, Astros 5 wire reports

HOUSTON -- Josh Anderson's homecoming was more than a little special.

Anderson hit two home runs and Jeff Francoeur drove in three runs with a pair of doubles to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros 11-5 on Saturday night.

"Any time a team trades you, you want to go out and make an impression that says, 'This is what I can do,"' Anderson said. "Obviously, it's fun proving somebody wrong. I really respect the Astros organization. It's just nice to do good, especially against a team you used to play for."

Manager Bobby Cox acknowledged the night was unusual for Anderson, who had only one home run before Saturday.

"This is a good ball park when the roof's open," Cox said. "The ball just flies out of here. He's not a home-run hitter. We know that. But he got some good hits tonight."

Anderson, who played in 21 games for Houston at the end of last season and hit .358 before being traded for reliever Oscar Villareal in the offseason, agreed.

"I like hitting here," Anderson said. "It's a good place to hit. You can see the ball well. It was just nice to get some big hits and to do it here."

It was also a satisfying game for Francoeur, who went 3-for-5.

"I finally got a hit with the bases loaded," Francoeur said. "But Josh has got to feel great, coming back and having this kind of game against the team that traded him. Any time you play the team that traded you, you look at it as, 'You guys didn't want me."'

The Braves jumped to a 9-0 lead after their first two at-bats and finished with 18 hits, tying the most allowed by the Astros this season.

"I wish I could give you something positive, but it was hard to come back from 9-0," manager Cecil Cooper said. "The relief was good in the middle and the guys fought hard."

Brandon Backe (9-14) went 1 1/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career, and allowed eight runs and eight hits, including two home runs, both by Anderson. He leads the major leagues with 36 homers allowed.

Over his last two starts, Backe pitched a total of three innings and allowed 13 runs and 14 hits and he admitted afterward he doesn't think the Astros will want him back.

"I loved my time here," he said. "I am from here. It has been great, but when reality strikes, I think they are going to get rid of me. It's not up to me. I'm going to work hard in the offseason for next year whether it is with the Astros or someone else."

Cooper didn't deny being disappointed with Backe.

"This was not what I expected from Brandon," Cooper said. "I thought he had his high points this season, but the consistency we expected from Brandon and Wandy (Rodriguez) wasn't there. Coming out of spring training, I thought they would have 12-14 wins each. We need more consistency from them."

James Parr made his fifth start of the season since being called up from Triple-A Richmond on Sept. 2. He left with a 9-5 lead but didn't get the win because he went only 4 1/3 innings. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits.

Reliever Vladimir Nunez (1-2) pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings to take the win.

Anderson led off with a home run on the second pitch of the game. It was his second homer of the season. Brandon Jones added a two-run double to give the Braves a 3-0 lead in the first.

Anderson added a two-run homer in the second inning to make it 5-0.

Backe was pulled three batters later after he walked Casey Kotchman to load the bases. Francoeur's double off reliever Jack Cassel scored three more and Jones followed with an RBI single for a 9-0 lead.

Hunter Pence hit his 25th home run of the season in the second inning for Houston. Lance Berkman drove in his 106th run of the season in the third.

Chipper Jones flied out in the ninth as a pinch-hitter, lowering his major league-leading average to .364. Jones, who has been out of the starting lineup due to right shoulder inflammation since Sept. 21, leads St. Louis' Albert Pujols (.356) by eight points for the NL batting title.


It was Anderson's second career leadoff homer. The first was Sept. 2, at Florida. ... Jorge Julio pitched a scoreless inning for his 11th consecutive appearance in which he hasn't allowed a run. ... Jones fell a point behind Mickey Mantle for the highest single-season batting average by a switch hitter. Mantle hit .365 in 1957. ... Miguel Tejada increased his National League record for hitting into double plays with his 32nd in the third inning. He set the record Friday. ... Berkman's third-inning hit gave him 1,449 for his career, moving him past Bob Watson for fifth on the Astros' career list... Berkman increased his career high for stolen bases to 18 in the seventh inning. ... With a major-league low 66 errors entering the final game, the Astros will top the club record of 76 set in 1994.
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.
Players of the Game

J. Anderson
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2

J. Francoeur
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Atlanta Braves
Josh Anderson, CF5233010 .295
Martin Prado, 3B5220002 .326
Kelly Johnson, 2B5120011 .285
Casey Kotchman, 1B4220102 .273
Jeff Francoeur, RF5333022 .240
Brandon Jones, LF5023014 .267
Clint Sammons, C5010023 .148
Brent Lillibridge, SS5022012 .195
James Parr, P3110013 .250
    Vladimir Nunez, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Norton, PH1000010 .263
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
    Jorge Julio, P0000000 .000
   b- Chipper Jones, PH1000001 .364
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Nunez in the 7th
b-flied out for Julio in the 9th
2B - Jeff Francoeur 2 (33, Backe, Cassel), Brandon Jones (10, Backe), Brent Lillibridge (6, Borkowski)
3B - Brent Lillibridge (1, Geary)
HR - Josh Anderson 2 (3, Backe, Backe)
RBI - Josh Anderson 3 (12), Jeff Francoeur 3 (71), Brandon Jones 3 (17), Brent Lillibridge 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Jones 2 (8), Brent Lillibridge 2 (4)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Johnson-Lillibridge-Kotchman, Lillibridge-Johnson-Kotchman
E - Brent Lillibridge (5, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
James Parr 4.1854201 4.84
Vladimir Nunez (W,1-2) 1.2000010 3.86
Manny Acosta 1000030 3.57
Jorge Julio 1100010 3.60
Mike Gonzalez 1000020 4.28
HBP - Pence (by Jorge Julio)
WP - Manny Acosta (5)
Pitches-Strikes - James Parr 86-54, Vladimir Nunez 13-13, Manny Acosta 19-12, Jorge Julio 7-5, Mike Gonzalez 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Parr 5-8, Vladimir Nunez 2-2, Manny Acosta 1-0, Jorge Julio 1-0, Mike Gonzalez 1-0
Batters Faced - James Parr 23, Vladimir Nunez 5, Manny Acosta 4, Jorge Julio 4, Mike Gonzalez 3
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4110111 .296
Michael Bourn, CF5110021 .229
Miguel Tejada, SS5111002 .284
Lance Berkman, 1B4011012 .313
Geoff Blum, 3B4011012 .240
Hunter Pence, RF3111001 .270
Ty Wigginton, LF4000002 .284
Humberto Quintero, C3120100 .226
Brandon Backe, P0000000 .277
    Jack Cassel, P1000001 .222
   a- Mark Saccomanno, PH1011000 .250
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   b- David Newhan, PH1000010 .252
    Fernando Nieve, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   c- Darin Erstad, PH1000011 .276
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Cassel in the 4th
b-struck out for Borkowski in the 6th
c-struck out for Wright in the 8th
2B - Michael Bourn (10, Parr), Miguel Tejada (38, Parr), Humberto Quintero (6, Parr), Mark Saccomanno (1, Parr)
HR - Hunter Pence (25, Parr)
RBI - Miguel Tejada (66), Lance Berkman (106), Geoff Blum (53), Hunter Pence (83), Mark Saccomanno (2)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (42), Mark Saccomanno (2)
SB - Lance Berkman (18, 2nd base off Acosta/Sammons)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Tejada-Berkman
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (L,9-14) 1.1888112 6.05
Jack Cassel 2.2411020 5.64
Dave Borkowski 2300020 7.50
Fernando Nieve 1000030 8.44
Wesley Wright 1000020 5.01
Geoff Geary 1322000 2.53
WP - Brandon Backe (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 42-27, Jack Cassel 47-32, Dave Borkowski 29-18, Fernando Nieve 16-11, Wesley Wright 12-8, Geoff Geary 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jack Cassel 3-2, Dave Borkowski 2-2, Wesley Wright 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 13, Jack Cassel 11, Dave Borkowski 9, Fernando Nieve 3, Wesley Wright 3, Geoff Geary 6
Game Information
Attendance - 37491
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano