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Houston at Atlanta

Scoreboard
Houston (9-14)1001000002101
Atlanta (11-11) «20004010x781

Braves 7, Astros 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The boos from his former hometown fans didn't bother Mike Hampton. The real problem, he said, was his bad pitches gave Atlanta fans a reason to cheer.

Jeff Francoeur hit a two-run homer and drove in another run to help the Braves beat the Houston Astros 7-2, spoiling Hampton's return to Atlanta on Friday night.

Hampton signed with the Astros after six years with the Braves, where he battled a long series of injuries and was able to appear in more than 13 games twice.

Hampton (1-2) drew loud boos in pregame warmups, before each of his two at-bats and as he was removed from the game in the decisive fifth inning. He gave up five hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings.

The negative reception was no big deal, he insisted.

"I'm used to that," Hampton said. "It's part of the game.

"I've been the visiting pitcher in a lot of places. It's happened before. ... I wanted to pitch well, but I just didn't have command of my pitches on either side of the plate."

Houston catcher Ivan Rodriguez set a target on the inside of the plate on the first-inning pitch Francoeur hit to left for a two-run homer, but Hampton left the pitch over the middle of the plate.

"I made some mistakes in crucial situations, and they took advantage of it," Hampton said.

Astros manager Cecil Cooper said Hampton "didn't throw enough quality pitches. He got in trouble."

Francoeur said the boos for Hampton were not a surprise.

"I hated it for him, all the boos," Francoeur said. "We all knew it was coming. But he knows how every single person in this clubhouse feels about him and I think that's all that matters.

"When you know how hard he tried to get on the mound, it was tough to hear that for him tonight."

Derek Lowe (3-1) allowed eight hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

The game was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 2 minutes after the seventh inning.

Omar Infante and Yunel Escobar each had two hits and drove in two runs as the Braves scored more than four runs for only the third time in 16 games.

Francoeur, hitting cleanup for the first time this season, lined a two-run homer to left off Hampton in the first. He added a run-scoring single to right off Geoff Geary in the fifth after Hampton loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Chipper Jones.

Francoeur hit only .182 (6 for 33) with the bases loaded last season. He is 2-for-2 with three RBI in that situation this season.

"As much as I love the home run, my single with the bases loaded was probably even better for me," he said. "Just going the other way, getting two strikes on you and laying off the slider, then hitting a slider to right field. ... It's been a little bit different for me with the bases loaded this year."

Infante had a two-run single and Escobar drove in another run with a double in the fifth. Escobar was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Hunter Pence on Francoeur's single.

The Braves' regular cleanup hitter, catcher Brian McCann, is on the disabled list due to blurred vision. McCann has ended an experiment with new contact lenses and said Friday he will try to play with new glasses.

Escobar's seventh-inning single off Jeff Fulchino drove in Brandon Jones, who walked as a pinch-hitter.

Hampton made only 25 starts from 2005-2008 because of frequent elbow and back problems. He missed the 2006 and 2007 seasons and then made only 13 starts in 2008, when he was 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA.

Michael Bourn had three hits, including a first-inning triple. He scored on Lance Berkman's groundout. The Astros added another run in the fourth when Pence walked, moved to third on a single by Rodriguez and scored on Hampton's grounder.

Notes

Two Houston team doctors successfully drained 40 cubic centimeters of fluid from RHP Jose Valverde's right calf on Friday, one day after he had 20 cubic centimeters of fluid removed. Valverde's expected recovery time is three to five weeks. ... Astros manager Cecil Cooper said RHP Felipe Paulino will move to the bullpen when RHP Brian Moehler returns from the disabled list to start on Tuesday at Washington. ... Jason Smith grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, extending to 20 his string of at-bats without a hit this season, the longest in the majors.

 
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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Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Francoeur
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Houston

M. Bourn
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Houston Astros
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4010111 .239
Michael Bourn, CF5130002 .284
Lance Berkman, 1B5011002 .165
Carlos Lee, LF4020002 .265
Miguel Tejada, SS4000010 .301
Hunter Pence, RF2110202 .288
Geoff Blum, 3B4000022 .294
Ivan Rodriguez, C4010011 .236
Mike Hampton, P2011000 .222
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Smith, PH1000000 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000010 .167
Totals36210236  
a-grounded out for Geary in the 7th
b-struck out for Wright in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carlos Lee (6, Lowe)
3B - Michael Bourn (2, Lowe)
RBI - Lance Berkman (11), Mike Hampton (2)
CS - Carlos Lee (1, 2nd base by Lowe/Sammons)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
E - Lance Berkman (1, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Mike Hampton (L,1-2) 4.1565201 4.88
Geoff Geary 1.2100020 4.91
Jeff Fulchino 1111110 5.14
Wesley Wright 1100010 5.63
IBB - Jones by Mike Hampton
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Hampton 72-42, Geoff Geary 21-14, Jeff Fulchino 21-14, Wesley Wright 20-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Hampton 8-6, Geoff Geary 1-1, Jeff Fulchino 1-1
Batters Faced - Mike Hampton 21, Geoff Geary 5, Jeff Fulchino 5, Wesley Wright 4
Atlanta Braves
Omar Infante, 2B4122000 .364
Yunel Escobar, SS4122001 .286
Chipper Jones, 3B3000111 .306
Jeff Francoeur, RF4123001 .287
Casey Kotchman, 1B4000002 .288
Matt Diaz, LF4110010 .218
Clint Sammons, C4010011 .250
Jordan Schafer, CF3100111 .261
Derek Lowe, P1100000 .000
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
   a- Brandon Jones, PH0100100 .286
    Jeff Bennett, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
Totals3178734  
a-walked for Moylan in the 7th
Batting
2B - Yunel Escobar (5, Hampton)
HR - Jeff Francoeur (3, Hampton)
SH - Derek Lowe (3)
RBI - Omar Infante 2 (6), Yunel Escobar 2 (11), Jeff Francoeur 3 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Francoeur 2 (11)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Kotchman-Escobar-J. Bennett
E - Derek Lowe (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Derek Lowe (W,3-1) 6.2822230 3.03
Peter Moylan (H,3) 0.1000000 7.56
Jeff Bennett 1.2200130 0.82
Mike Gonzalez 0.1000000 4.15
WP - Jeff Bennett (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 111-73, Peter Moylan 4-2, Jeff Bennett 29-16, Mike Gonzalez 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 12-5, Peter Moylan 1-0, Jeff Bennett 1-0
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 30, Peter Moylan 1, Jeff Bennett 7, Mike Gonzalez 1
Game Information
Attendance - 29309
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Jerry Crawford