Astros Outlast Atlanta in 14-Inning Affair

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Astros pitcher Jason Jennings came through with a pinch-hit, two-out RBI single in the 14th inning to give Houston a 12-11 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, ending a three-game losing skid.

Jennings, who was 1-for-17 entering the game, singled to right on a 2-1 pitch from Oscar Villarreal (1-1), scoring Jason Lane, who opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch and took second on a groundout by Mike Lamb. After Brad Ausmus struck out, Jennings got the game winner -- raising his batting average to .111.

In his last start on Sunday, Jennings gave up 11 runs, eight hits and three walks in the first inning against San Diego and was gone after getting only two outs. It was the most runs given up by a pitcher to start a game since Aug. 13, 2006, when Kansas City's Luke Hudson allowed 11 runs against Cleveland.

He made a relief appearance Wednesday night and allowed one run in Houston's 12-3 loss to the Braves. Jennings is scheduled to start Saturday at Florida.

Mark McLemore (1-0) got the win with a scoreless 13th. Brian Moehler earned his first save with a scoreless 14th.

The Braves tied it at 11 in the 12th when Matt Diaz hit an 0-1 pitch for a two-run homer off Brad Lidge after an infield hit by Corky Miller.

Lane, who earlier hit a three-run homer, hit a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning to give the Astros an 11-9 lead.

Carlos Lee singled with one out against Ron Mahay (0-1) in the 11th and took third on a single to right by Ty Wigginton. Lane then hoisted a fly ball to center, easily scoring Lee. Wigginton took second on a passed ball and scored when Atlanta second baseman Kelly Johnson booted Lamb's grounder.

The Braves have scored in double figures in their last four games, scoring 49 runs on 68 hits. The Astros, meanwhile, have given up 53 runs in their last four.

The first nine Houston runs had come as a result of home runs, a two-run shot by Lance Bergman, Lane's three-run homer and a grand slam by Lamb.

Pinch-hitter Lamb hit his bases-loaded home run in the eighth on a 1-1 pitch off Rafael Soriano to tie it at 9. Lee opened the inning with a single and took second on an infield hit by Wigginton. Lane loaded the bases when he reached on an error by third baseman Willie Harris.

Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones, Willie Harris, Jeff Francoeur and Diaz each had two RBIs for the Braves, who had 22 hits.

Harris put Atlanta ahead 7-5 in the fifth with a two-out, two-run triple off Woody Williams, the 13th hit off the 40-year-old right-hander. Williams lasted only five innings.

The Braves made it 9-5 in the sixth on a two-run double by Francoeur off David Borkowski.

Teixeira hit his second homer as a Brave and 15th of the season. The two-run, 405-foot shot over the right-center field fence in the fourth tied the game at 5 after Harris had opened the inning with a double.

Teixeira, acquired from Texas on Tuesday in a seven-player trade, hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs in his Atlanta debut Wednesday night.

Lane hit a three-run homer, his fifth, and Bergman, who has homered in four straight games, had a two-run shot in a five-run third inning off Atlanta rookie Jo-Jo Reyes.

The left-hander pitched three innings, allowing four hits and five runs while walking four and striking out one.

The Braves opened the scoring when Andruw Jones hit a solo home run, his 21st, in the second for a 1-0 lead. Atlanta added two runs off Williams in the third on a run-scoring groundout by Jones and an RBI double by Brian McCann.

The Braves beat Arizona 14-0 on Sunday, and defeated Houston 12-4 on Tuesday night and 12-3 on Wednesday night. Houston, meanwhile, lost to San Diego 18-11 on Sunday before the three-game series with Atlanta.


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