Atlanta at Houston

Final 10th
W: B. Wagner (6-2) L: B. Lyon (6-5)
HR: ATL - B. McCann (17)   HOU - None

Braves 8, Astros 2 (10) wire reports

HOUSTON -- After getting blown out in the first game and needing late rallies to win the other two, Braves manager Bobby Cox was pleased to escape Houston with a series victory.

Omar Infante drove in the go-ahead run with a 10th-inning double and Brian McCann added a grand slam later in the inning to give Atlanta an 8-2 win over the Astros on Wednesday.

"It was a good series," Cox said. "We took it. That's all you can ask. A sweep would have been great, but we almost got swept ourselves."

Infante's hit bounced low on the wall in left field and scored Rick Ankiel to put Atlanta back on top 3-2, giving closer Billy Wagner (6-2) the win after he blew a save in the ninth. Brandon Lyon (6-5) intentionally walked Melky Cabrera to set up a run-scoring single by Alex Gonzalez, and McCann's pinch hit slam off Jeff Fulchino put the game out of reach.

The Braves trailed 2-1 on Tuesday night, but won 4-2 after a pair of homers in the ninth.

"As long as our team is winning ... that's what it's all about," said Wagner, the former Astros pitcher who will retire after this season. "That's not how I guess you'd draw it up, but you don't have much you can do about it. But a win's a win and it's good for us."

Braves starter Tommy Hanson gave up two hits and didn't allow an earned run before being replaced by Jonny Venters. He walked one in a scoreless eighth before Wagner took over.

Hunter Pence tied it 2-2 when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Johnson off Wagner in the ninth inning. Pence singled on a grounder to third base before advancing to third on a single by Lee. Wagner retired the next two batters to send the game to extra innings.

Ankiel walked with one out in the 10th before reaching second on an error by Pedro Feliz, who couldn't handle the throw to first base. Lyon intentionally walked Eric Hinske before Infante's go-ahead hit and the flood of runs that followed.

"I didn't make good pitches and they hit them," Lyon said. "I just have to come back next time and make better pitches."

Houston closer Matt Lindstrom wasn't available Wednesday after pitching two straight days and dealing with a sore back.

Cabrera doubled and scored on a groundout by Gonzalez to make it 1-0 in the first inning. Cabrera had advanced to third on a passed ball by catcher Jason Castro to set up the run, before Rodriguez struck out Matt Diaz to get out of that inning.

Hanson didn't allow a hit until Michael Bourn's single leading off the fourth. Bourn stole second and tried to steal third, but got caught in a run down. Hanson dropped the throw while covering the base, though, allowing Bourn to return safely to second.

"One of the most amazing things to see is Bourn in the run down," Pence said. "Typically, for anyone that is human and not Superman, when they get in a run down, they're generally out. I don't think anyone has a chance to get him and it came up pretty clutch for us."

That's because Bourn stole third anyway and scored on a single by Pence to make it 1-1.

Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez retired 13 straight before a single to Brooks Conrad with two outs in the fifth inning. Ankiel walked before Hanson's single on a grounder to left field scored Conrad and put Atlanta on top 2-1.

Hanson retired the next ten straight after Pence's hit before walking Chris Johnson with one out in the seventh inning. He got back on track after that, sitting down the next two batters to end the inning.

"I definitely had some of my better stuff today," Hanson said. "Even warming up, my slider, my curveball felt really good and I felt really good command-wise."

Rodriguez allowed five hits and one earned run in seven innings. He had nine strikeouts to give him 771 for his career and move him past Mike Hampton (767) and into second place among left-handers on Houston's all-time strikeouts list.

"I do the best I can," Rodriguez said. "I'm not thinking about strikeouts. I'm just trying to make a good pitch and the guy misses it."


  • Atlanta 3B Chipper Jones (left knee) is still experiencing pain on the lower left side of his knee. The 38-year-old will know the severity of the injury after an MRI in Atlanta on Thursday.
  • Braves RF Jason Heyward missed his second straight game because of a sore right knee. He expects to be back in the lineup Friday when the team opens a series with the Dodgers.
  • Atlanta 2B Martin Prado (broken right pinkie) will take live batting practice on Friday. He expects to know more about when he'll return after that session.
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Omar Infante's double in the 10th inning drives in Rick Ankiel for the go-ahead run. (AP)
Omar Infante's double in the 10th inning drives in Rick Ankiel for the go-ahead run. (AP)

Players of the Game

B. McCann
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

H. Pence
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Atlanta Braves
Omar Infante, 2B-LF5111012 .330
Melky Cabrera, RF4210110 .267
Alex Gonzalez, SS5112010 .258
Matt Diaz, LF4010010 .240
   a- Brian McCann, PH1114000 .273
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
Troy Glaus, 1B5000011 .241
David Ross, C5020020 .290
Brooks Conrad, 3B5110012 .238
Rick Ankiel, CF2100211 .227
Tommy Hanson, P3011011 .136
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
    Billy Wagner, P0000000 .000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH0000100 .258
    Diory Hernandez, PR-2B0100000 .000
a-homered for Diaz in the 10th
b-was walked intentionally for Wagner in the 10th
2B - Omar Infante (11, Lyon), Melky Cabrera (19, Rodriguez), Matt Diaz (12, Rodriguez), David Ross 2 (8, Rodriguez, Fulchino)
HR - Brian McCann (17, Fulchino)
RBI - Omar Infante (29), Alex Gonzalez 2 (60), Brian McCann 4 (62), Tommy Hanson (4)
2-OUT RBI - Tommy Hanson (3)
Team LOB - 5
E - Brooks Conrad (2, Misplayed grounder), Tommy Hanson (2, Missed catch of throw)
Atlanta Braves
Tommy Hanson 7210240 3.51
Jonny Venters (H,18) 1000110 1.07
Billy Wagner (BS,7; W,6-2) 1211000 1.78
Takashi Saito 1000020 3.07
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 94-62, Jonny Venters 22-12, Billy Wagner 15-11, Takashi Saito 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 9-8, Jonny Venters 2-0, Billy Wagner 1-2, Takashi Saito 1-1
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 25, Jonny Venters 4, Billy Wagner 5, Takashi Saito 4
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5110022 .254
Jeff Keppinger, 2B4000102 .287
Hunter Pence, RF4121010 .276
Carlos Lee, LF4010001 .248
Chris Johnson, 3B2001112 .361
Brett Wallace, 1B3000013 .300
   a- Pedro Feliz, PH-1B1000001 .222
Angel Sanchez, SS4000002 .276
Jason Castro, C2000000 .187
   b- Jason Bourgeois, PH1000000 .218
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
   c- Geoff Blum, PH1000000 .267
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000010 .222
    Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
   d- Jason Michaels, PH0000100 .254
    Humberto Quintero, C1000011 .214
a-popped out for Wallace in the 9th
b-grounded out for Castro in the 8th
c-grounded out for Fulchino in the 10th
d-walked for Lopez in the 8th
SF - Chris Johnson (3)
RBI - Hunter Pence (59), Chris Johnson (33)
SB - Michael Bourn 2 (38, 2nd base off Hanson/Ross, 3rd base off Hanson/Ross), Carlos Lee (3, 2nd base off Wagner/Ross)
CS - Michael Bourn (10, 3rd base by Hanson/Ross)
Team LOB - 6
PB - Jason Castro (3)
E - Pedro Feliz (11, Missed catch of throw)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 7521190 4.18
Wilton Lopez 1000000 3.26
Brandon Lyon (L,6-5) 1.1255300 3.91
Jeff Fulchino 0.2211011 6.34
IBB - Hinske by Brandon Lyon, by Cabrera
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 111-67, Wilton Lopez 9-5, Brandon Lyon 32-13, Jeff Fulchino 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 7-5, Wilton Lopez 2-1, Brandon Lyon 1-3
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 27, Wilton Lopez 3, Brandon Lyon 9, Jeff Fulchino 4
Game Information
Attendance - 31352
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Field Culbreth