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ATL@HOU: McCann blasts a three-run homer

HOUSTON -- Brian McCann learned from his mistake after grounding into an inning-ending double play in the seventh with the go-ahead run on third base.

The catcher, who hit a pinch-hit, game-tying home run and a walk-off shot against Houston on May 17, smashed a three-run home run to right field Saturday night to break a 10th-inning tie and give the Braves their fifth-straight win with a 6-3 victory at Minute Maid Park.

"Every at-bat I came up tonight, I had a chance to do something and didn't," McCann said. "It was very satisfying getting it in extra innings to give us the lead."

All three of McCann's hits against the Astros this season have been home runs. McCann surpassed 500 RBIs for his career with the three-run shot Saturday.

"You can't give him too many opportunities with the game on the line, because he's going to get you eventually," said Chipper Jones.

Jordan Schafer singled and stole second base to notch his third swiped bag of the series before Dan Uggla walked to put two runners on with no outs in the 10th inning.

McCann, who had popped out in the first inning with two runners on and flew out with a runner on in the third inning, made Astros reliever Brandon Lyon pay in extras.

"I fell behind the hitters and I couldn't find the strike zone," Lyon said. "I didn't make the pitches I needed to. It's a tough loss for us."

McCann was 1-for-4 with a double in his career against Lyon before that at-bat.

"I haven't had much success against him at all," McCann said. "I don't see the ball that great off him. He's got a sinker and a really good cutter, and I was just trying to be patient."

Uggla singled twice and walked once before drawing the extra-innings base on balls. It marked his first multihit game since May 15 and the first time he's had hits in consecutive games since May 10-11.

"He looks like he's a little more comfortable," Jones said. "He came out and hit early today. He looks to be making some strides. We start getting him going, it could be a fun summer."

Atlanta left runners on base in six of the first eight innings and went down in order in the sixth and eighth frames.

Starters Mike Minor for the Braves and Jordan Lyles for the Astros both put four runners on base in the first two innings. Lyles left them stranded, while Minor allowed two runs.

The Braves were 10-21 when their opponent scored first before Saturday's victory.

Minor buckled down after the first frame, allowing just one hit and two walks in the next five innings. He was 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in his three other Major League starts this season.

Lyles also allowed two runs but needed 111 pitches to get through 6 1/3 innings.

"I thought Mike Minor was good," Jones said. "I thought their guy was really good. I was really impressed with him, their starter. It was just a well-played ballgame all the way around."

Freddie Freeman continued his scorching hitting at Minute Maid Park with a double to lead off the second inning, and Alex Gonzalez followed with a blooper into right field which found grass between second baseman Jeff Keppinger and right fielder Hunter Pence.

The Braves couldn't get a run across after putting the first two runners on base for the second consecutive inning.

Eric Hinske struck out and Matt Young sent a grounder to first baseman Carlos Lee, who threw home and caught Freeman in a rundown between third base and home plate. Freeman was eventually tagged out, and Minor struck out to end the frame.

The Astros found success in the first inning with runners in scoring position. Houston strung together three consecutive extra-base hits, beginning with Michael Bourn's second triple of the series.

Pence then extended his Major League-leading hitting streak to 22 games with an RBI double and scored on an RBI double by Lee to put the Astros up, 2-0.

Jones answered with an RBI double of his own in the top of the third inning to cut the lead in half. The 39-year-old third baseman also displayed his still-quick reflexes with two highlight-reel diving plays in the fifth and sixth innings and added a double in the 10th.

"I had a lot of hard-hit balls that were caught," Minor said. "The defense was basically the savior of the game. Chipper was over there diving, making some plays."

Hinske redeemed his second-inning strikeout with a solo shot to tie the game at 2 in the fourth inning. He also knocked in the Braves' final run with a single to left field in the 10th.

Pence and Lee launched consecutive doubles for the second time in the game in the bottom of the 10th inning off Craig Kimbrel to cut Atlanta's lead to 6-3 before the closer retired the next two Astros hitters.

The Braves' bullpen allowed just one run in four innings. Jonny Venters allowed a hit to Lee in the eighth inning before forcing an inning-ending double play to increase his scoreless-innings streak to 21, which is the longest current streak for a Major League reliever.

"I can't say enough about our bullpen," McCann said. "It seems like every night we're going past nine [innings], and they keep throwing up zeros to give us a chance." Comments