HOUSTON (AP) – The Houston Astros had a chance to win their second series of this young season.
Instead, too many errors and poor clutch hitting doomed them in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves.
The Astros started the season 3-1, but lost two straight to the Braves to erase a hot start.
Ross, the backup catcher, drove in Chipper Jones and Dan Uggla with a double to center in the fourth, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead. Heyward, who finished with three hits, added an insurance run with his solo shot to right in the eighth.
The Astros made four errors and have eight fielding miscues on the season. They also made four in a season-opening loss to Colorado last week.
Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (0-1) gave up four runs, three earned, and six hits in five innings. Rodriguez said he missed his location on the double to Ross, and that affected him for the rest of the inning.
“It was 0-2, and I did not want to throw anything too close to the home plate,” Rodriguez said. “I went with a changeup, and earlier he missed two changeups in a row. In that situation, I wanted to throw it down in the zone, but it went down the middle.”
Atlanta grabbed the lead for good with the big fourth inning. Jones hit a leadoff single and Uggla reached on an error by rookie shortstop Marwin Gonzalez. Heyward singled to load the bases and Ross’ double drove in two. Jack Wilson‘s sacrifice scored Heyward to stretch the lead to 4-1.
“Wandy, he really got frustrated with himself,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. “We had a good talk after he came out of the game. He really let that 0-2 double to Ross get to him. He let that pitch get to him, and the inning really kind of deteriorated after that.”