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Braves’ Long Balls Doom Feldman, Astros

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HOUSTON (CBS Houston): May 26th is only 4 weeks ago, but it must feel like an eternity for Astros pitcher Scott Feldman.  May 26th was the last time Feldman earned a victory.

Feldman (3-5) was solid, giving up only 4 hits and striking out 5 in 6 innings, and kept his team in the game.  However, he  surrendered a pair of homers that Houston (33-45) couldn’t overcome, as the Astros fell to the Braves (39-37) 3-2 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.

B.J. and Justin Upton both went deep for the Braves, and the Astro lineup couldn’t string enough hits together against Braves starter Aaron Harang (6-6) and an Atlanta pen thats had more than its fair share of leaks this season.

George Springer got the Astros off to a positive start, crushing a 441-foot bomb to right center for his 14th home run and 1-0 Astros lead.

Jason Heyward tripled in the top of the second and then scored on a two-out RBI double by Chris Johnson.

B.J. Upton homered to left in the top of the 3rd to put the Braves up 2-1, and then Justin Upton blasted a no-doubter to left-center for a 3-1 Atlanta lead in the top of the 4th.

The ‘Stros would get one back in the bottom of the 4th on a 2-out RBI single by Jonathan Villar, but Dexter Fowler struck out looking with 2 on to end the inning with Houston down 3-2.

That’s as close as Houston would get off Harang, who gave up 2 runs on 6 hits and struck out 5 in 6 innings, including 2 of the final 3 batters he faced.

Houston would mount a rally in the 7th off Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro, but with runners on 2nd and 3rd, and two outs, Springer grounded to short to end the threat.

The Astros mounted another charge in the 8th off Atlanta’s Jordan Walden, again getting runners to 2nd & 3rd with 2 outs, but Walden got Robbie Grossman swinging to retire the side.

Houston relievers Josh Zeid, Tony Sipp, and Chad Qualls combined for 3 shutout innings to hold the game at 3-2, but Braves star closer Craig Kimbrel slammed the door shut in the 9th for his 22nd Save.

Game 2 of this 3 game series is Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park, first pitch 7:10pm.  Atlanta’s Alex Wood and Houston’s Collin McHugh are the starters.

 

GAME NOTES:

George Springer’s 1st inning home run traveled an estimated 441 feet, that ties for 8th longest ever hit by an Astros player at Minute Maid Park.  Springer’s 14 HRs before the All-Star Break are a team rookie record.  Springer’s 39 RBI are currently 3rd most by an Astros rookie before the break, Mitch Meluskey’s 43 in 2000 is the record.

With 2 more hits Tuesday night, Jose Altuve leads the majors with 105.  Through 78 games, that puts Altuve on a pace for 218 hits.  The Astros team record for hits is 210 by Craig Biggio in 1998.

Braves OFs B.J. Upton and Justin Upton homered in the same game as teammates for the 4th time in their careers, which ties a major league record.  (Jason and Jeremy Giambi, and Vlad and Wilton Guerrero also homered in the same game 4x)

Braves starter Aaron Harang has now won 7 straight decisions against the Astros, which is tied for the longest current streak against the team with Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright.

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