Sunday, March 17, 2013

Astros Scalp the Braves

The second-place Astros take two of three from the Braves as they continue to put pressure of the Dodgers.  Leadoff man Terry Puhl had a nice series at the plate. Houston is now 20-16, while Atlanta drops to 16-20.

Game 1: HOU 5, ATL 2
W: Bannister (1-1)
L: Ruthven (1-4)
S: Sambito (1)
21-year-old CF Terry Puhl is hitting .308 on the year.
MVP: Bannister

Terry Puhl went two-for-four with two RBIs and two runs scored behind an eight-inning effort from spot starter Floyd Bannister, who also struck out nine to win his first of the year. The Astros broke open a tight one with two runs in the eighth off reliever Dave Campbell to seal the win.

Game 2: HOU 3, ATL 1
W: Richard (4-1)
L: Boggs (1-6)
MVP: Richard

Houston ace J.R. Richard was again masterful, pitching a complete game and striking out eight to give him a league-leading 91. Puhl went four-for-four with a double and SB. Houston scored all its runs early and let Richard do his work while hitting 99 on the radar gun.

Game 3: ATL 5, Hou 3
W: P. Niekro (7-1)
L: Lemongello (3-4)
MVP: Niekro

39-year-old Phil Niekro and his knuckler befuddled the Astro hitters for the second time this year, as he throw a complete game with five Ks and no walks to win his seventh. The ball was bouncing like a pogo stick all over the Astrodome turf, with three triples, a double, and a rare inside-the-park home run hit from Enos Cabell (3). Even the slow-footed Jeff Burroughs had a triple, driving in two. Burroughs ended the series by raising his batting average to .375. 

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