Braves make a stop in Houston

The Atlanta Braves will resume their 11-game road trip Tuesday with the first of three straight games versus the Houston Astros.

The Braves split a four-game series with the rival and NL East-leading Washington Nationals over the weekend and dropped the last two installments of the set. In Sunday's 4-1 loss at Nationals Park, Ervin Santana pitched well in defeat, allowing three runs in six innings with nine strikeouts and one walk.


Justin Upton had the lone RBI for the Braves before being ejected in the ninth inning after he argued home plate umpire Mark Carlson's called third strike. Chris Johnson was ejected a few innings prior to that for the same reason.

Freddie Freeman finished with two hits and scored a run for the Braves, losers in five of the last seven games.

"Baseball is funny," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If we'd have lost the first two games and won the last two, you're feeling pretty good about yourself. It didn't happen that way. So you're not feeling real good about yourself. Our goal is always to win series. We didn't do it, but we didn't lose a series."


Evan Gattis went 0-for-3 with a walk and had his 20-game hit streak snapped. He batted .386 during the streak, the longest of his career. Tommy La Stella and Jason Heyward combined to go 0-for-6 Sunday.

Atlanta, which will visit Philadelphia for four games on this trip and has an 18-19 road record, are scheduled to send Aaron Harang to the mound Tuesday and he is 5-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Harang was hammered by the Phillies in a 10-5 setback last Wednesday and gave up nine runs -- eight earned -- in five innings.

Harang has walked at least three batters (16 total) in his previous four appearances and will make his 28th career start against the Astros. He is 14-9 with a 4.13 ERA in the first 27 starts.

The Astros are coming off a disappointing road trip (1-5) through Washington and Tampa Bay, and will begin a nine-game homestand Tuesday versus Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle. The 'Stros are 17-20 at home.

Houston suffered a 5-2 loss to the Rays Sunday, as Dallas Keuchel went the distance for the visitors and gave up five runs -- four earned -- in eight innings. He struck out four and walked four batters.


"Dallas Keuchel did a tremendous job of battling," manager Bo Porter said. "I felt like there were some critical breakpoint defensive plays that if we play a little bit better overall, he would have fared better and the game would have been a different outcome."

Dexter Fowler had two hits, including a home run, for the Astros, losers in six of the last seven games.

Scott Feldman draws the start for Houston Tuesday and is 3-4 with a 3.95 ERA. He is 1-4 in his last five decisions (9 starts, 5.56 ERA) and has recorded consecutive no-decisions, including a 6-5 loss at Washington on Wednesday.

Feldman allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. The right-hander has made two career starts against the Braves, going 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA.

This is the only series between the Braves and Astros this season. Atlanta went 4-2 in this series back in 2012.


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