Atlanta at Houston

Scoreboard
Atlanta (71-68)010000000130
Houston (68-71) «000000002280

Tejada lifts Astros past Braves with walk-off, two-run single

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros were just glad to see Tommy Hanson out of the game.

One inning after the Atlanta Braves' rookie pitcher left, Miguel Tejada hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the Astros a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

Hanson had been overpowering for eight innings, striking out seven and allowing five singles and no walks in his longest major league outing.

So Houston felt it had a chance when closer Rafael Soriano (1-5) entered to try to get the save.

Kaz Matsui led off the ninth with a single and Lance Berkman doubled to left. Carlos Lee was intentionally walked and Tejada's single up the middle handed Soriano his fourth blown save.

Tejada admitted he was glad to not have to face Hanson.

"Not just me," Tejada said. "Everybody was. The way the game was going, the way he was pitching, we weren't doing much.

"The kid is unbelievable. He pitched a great game. I just tried to hit the ball up the middle with the bases loaded. That's what I do best."

Astros manager Cecil Cooper was another person happy that Hanson was out of the game.

"We probably wouldn't have gotten anything off of him," Cooper said. "It didn't look like it. We had chances and we didn't really do anything against him. That kid's pretty impressive."

The Braves, who have lost six of seven, were stunned.

"It [the loss] was awful the way he pitched," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "He pitched terrific baseball. He had everything going.

"Hanson was right at 100 [pitches]. He wanted to go back out and could have come back out. But you have to be careful. You always want to start your closer with a clean inning. You don't want him to come in with men on. And we've got confidence in him."

Hanson was pragmatic about the loss.

"That's just the way it goes sometimes," he said. "We did a good job of keeping runs off the board. That's just baseball.

"Everything felt really good. I would definitely say that was one of my better starts."

Hanson would have liked to go one more inning.

"I understood the situation [in the ninth] 100 percent," he said. "He's the manager and I do what he says. Every start, I want to go back out. [Cox] is the one who decides when I come out of the game. That's the way it goes."

Jose Valverde (4-2) struck out two in a perfect ninth for the win.

Houston's Wandy Rodriguez went seven innings, allowing one run and three hits, striking out six.

Rodriguez, who retired 10 of 11 hitters from the second through the fifth innings, has limited opponents to one run or less in 11 of his last 13 starts.

The Braves went ahead in the second inning when Yunel Escobar led off with a walk and went to second on Brian McCann's infield groundout. Matt Diaz drove in Escobar with a single to right.

Notes

  • Astros 3B Geoff Blum left the game in the third inning with a contusion to his right lower leg and a mild ankle sprain. He was injured sliding into second base. Chris Johnson made his major league debut replacing Blum.
  • It was the fifth straight game decided by one run for Houston. The Astros are 4-1 in the games.
  • The Braves are 24-21 in one-run games after going a majors-worst 11-30 last season.
  • The Braves have had 84 quality starts, nine more than all last season.
 
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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Miguel Tejada makes a lot of Astros happy with his game-winning, bases-loaded single in the ninth inning.  (AP)
Miguel Tejada makes a lot of Astros happy with his game-winning, bases-loaded single in the ninth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

M. Tejada
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Atlanta

M. Diaz
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF4010000 .260
Martin Prado, 2B3000010 .296
Chipper Jones, 3B4000011 .268
Yunel Escobar, SS2100210 .300
Brian McCann, C4000012 .271
Matt Diaz, RF3021010 .324
Adam LaRoche, 1B3000012 .270
Omar Infante, LF3000012 .288
Tommy Hanson, P3000031 .063
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
Totals29131210  
Batting
SH - Martin Prado (10)
RBI - Matt Diaz (45)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Prado-LaRoche, Jones-Prado-LaRoche
Atlanta Braves
Tommy Hanson 8500070 2.83
Rafael Soriano (BS,4; L,1-5) 0.1322110 2.80
IBB - Lee by Rafael Soriano
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 98-65, Rafael Soriano 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 11-4
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 27, Rafael Soriano 5
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4000010 .294
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4120010 .243
Lance Berkman, 1B4120012 .271
Carlos Lee, LF3010101 .306
Miguel Tejada, SS4012001 .302
Hunter Pence, RF3000020 .286
Geoff Blum, 3B1010000 .261
   a- Chris Johnson, PH-3B2000000 .000
Humberto Quintero, C2000001 .231
   b- Darin Erstad, PH1000010 .205
    Chris Coste, C0000000 .229
Wandy Rodriguez, P2010010 .125
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .333
   c- Jason Michaels, PH1000010 .231
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals3128218  
a-popped out for Blum in the 5th
b-struck out for Quintero in the 8th
c-struck out for Wright in the 8th
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman (28, Soriano)
RBI - Miguel Tejada 2 (72)
SB - Lance Berkman (7, 2nd base off Hanson/McCann)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 7311260 2.76
Wesley Wright 1000020 5.61
Jose Valverde (W,4-2) 1000020 1.91
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 85-59, Wesley Wright 13-9, Jose Valverde 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 10-5, Wesley Wright 1-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 26, Wesley Wright 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 22392
Game Time - 2:13
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman