Braves beat Houston to end skid
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Heyward hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Tommy Hanson pitched eight innings to help the Atlanta Braves end their nine-game losing streak by beating the Houston Astros 4-2 Friday night.
Heyward homered for the second consecutive night to break a 2-all tie and Nate McLouth also went deep against Brett Myers (1-2).
Hanson (2-2) gave up two runs in the second inning and then retired 20 of his last 21 batters. He struck out seven without a walk.
Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his second save. He walked Pedro Feliz with one out before Carlos Lee hit into a double play.
The Braves snapped their longest losing streak since they dropped 10 straight from June 11-22, 2006. This season's streak included an 0-7 road trip, the Braves' first winless trip of at least seven games since 1949, when the franchise was based in Boston.
Hanson, in his first full season, has allowed no more than two runs in each of his first five starts and has a 2.17 ERA.
McLouth walked with one out in the third inning and scored on Heyward's sixth homer. The homer cleared the center-field wall, bouncing off a fan in the first row and falling between the stands and the outfield wall.
Heyward just missed another homer in the eighth when right fielder Hunter Pence reached over the top of the wall in right-center field to catch Heyward's drive.
Heyward's homer in the Braves' 10-4 loss at St. Louis on Thursday ended the team's eight-game homerless streak.
Martin Prado singled and scored from third when a hard grounder by Troy Glaus took a bad hop and appeared to hit Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella in his face or throat in the first inning. Manzella remained in the game after a long visit from the Astros' trainer.
The Astros tied the game at 2 in the second on run-scoring singles by Pence and J.R. Towles. Pence's single drove in Carlos Lee, who was hit by a pitch from Hanson to lead off the inning.
Myers gave up six hits and four runs, three earned, in seven innings. He walked four and struck out five.
Hanson matched his longest start of his career. He also lasted eight innings, but received no decision, in a 2-1 loss at Houston on Sept. 9, 2009.
NOTES: 1B Lance Berkman was held out after he tweaked his left groin running to first base in his last at-bat against Cincinnati on Thursday night. ... LHP Wandy Rodriguez, originally scheduled to start Friday night, is expected to start Saturday after throwing on the side during batting practice. He had the start pushed back due to back spasms. ... Braves SS Yunel Escobar was held out with a strained left inner thigh. ... Manager Bobby Cox said RHP Jair Jurrjens' next start will be pushed back to May 8. Jurrjens strained his left hamstring in Thursday's loss in St. Louis.
Updated April 30, 2010