"We're only as good as the next game that we play, and hopefully it will be a good momentum builder for us," said Tim Hudson, the winning starter Saturday in a 10-1 Braves defeat of the Astros.
That next game is Sunday, and while the Braves are hoping to build off a couple of solid victories, the Astros are going in with the idea of getting back on the horse themselves, having seen their losing skid hit five games with the loss on Saturday.
Houston will turn to right-hander Bud Norris in the finale, and he also needs to get back in the saddle himself, after allowing six hits, five earned runs and four walks in five innings vs. the Reds. Chalk that one up as another Major League lesson for the 25-year-old.
"I attacked early, and I kind of got lazy, whether mentally or mechanically," Norris said. "You've got to go out there and compete."
At 7-5 with a 4.79 ERA since he joined the Majors late last year, Norris has never faced the Braves.
The Braves will go with ace Derek Lowe, who has yet to get on track this season. After a solid Opening Day outing, he has seen his ERA rise steadily over his last four starts, including allowing five earned runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks against the Cardinals.
Astros: Berkman back in lineup
After missing Friday night's contest with pain in his left groin, Lance Berkman returned to the lineup on Saturday and should be good to go for the rest of the series. "It's still a little bit sore, but it's one of those things, I think, I can manage, so I don't know that sitting out another game is going to do me any good," Berkman said. A key cog in the Astros offense, Berkman tweaked the groin while running to first in his last at-bat on Thursday night. The day of rest was mostly precautionary, as a way to simultaneously rest his left knee, and he got a little more rest when the game turned lopsided. Berkman was 0-for-2 with Houston's only RBI.
Braves: Offense beginning to click
The Braves' 10-run output was the first time they'd scored five runs or more in a game since April 16, when they scored nine runs to hand a loss to Colorado. Troy Glaus led the way with a double and four RBIs -- or more than he'd had in his previous 15 games, batting .143 (4-for-42) during that time. That was just what the Braves needed, as Jason Heyward added a homer and the Braves broke out of their offensive doldrums. "We just have to get it together, and like today have a good offensive game, have the pitcher pitch well and have everything go as planned," Glaus said on Saturday. Said manager Bobby Cox: "Troy has been swinging good. I know he's down in average, but he's still been hitting the ball good."
Carlos Lee and Michael Bourn have historically hit Lowe pretty hard. Lee is 14-for-45(.400) in his career versus the veteran, while Bourn is 5-for-10 (.500). ... Two of Lowe's 15 wins in 2009 came against the Astros; he beat them May 1 in Atlanta and in September at Minute Maid Park. ... The Astros are now 1-12 when scoring three or fewer runs.
Sun, 5/2 1:35 PM ET
J-Hey hits Astros hard in sweep
Jason Heyward and Melky Cabrera combined for six RBIs and Derek Lowe allowed a run in five innings as the Braves swept the Astros. Carlos Lee and Michael Bourn, who scored a run, had two hits apiece for Houston.
|Lee, Ca, LF||4||0||2||0||0||1||3||.191|
|Matsui, K, 2B||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Jones, C, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.206|
|Wagner, B, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Cabrera, Me, LF||3||0||2||3||1||0||0||.212|
|Lowe, D, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||4||.100|
2B: Bourn (6, Lowe, D), Keppinger (7, Lowe, D).
TB: Blum; Keppinger 3; Lee, Ca 2; Bourn 3; Matsui, K 2.
RBI: Keppinger (9).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Pence 2; Berkman; Lee, Ca.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 9.
2B: Heyward (4, Norris), Cabrera, Me (3, Norris).
TB: Infante 2; Glaus 2; Heyward 3; Cabrera, Me 3; McCann.
RBI: Heyward 3 (23), Cabrera, Me 3 (6), Infante (5).
2-out RBI: Cabrera, Me 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Lowe, D; Infante.
GIDP: Lowe, D.
Team RISP: 6-for-10.
Team LOB: 5.
E: Infante (3, fielding).
HBP: McCann (by Norris).
Pitches-strikes: Norris 96-54, Sampson 5-3, Fulchino 31-18, Lyon 13-10, Lowe, D 84-57, Medlen 26-20, Saito 17-10, Wagner, B 13-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Norris 4-4, Sampson 0-0, Fulchino 0-1, Lyon 0-1, Lowe, D 9-3, Medlen 0-3, Saito 1-0, Wagner, B 1-0.
Batters faced: Norris 25, Sampson 1, Fulchino 6, Lyon 4, Lowe, D 22, Medlen 8, Saito 3, Wagner, B 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Sampson 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Mike Everitt. 1B: Andy Fletcher. 2B: Adrian Johnson. 3B: Tim McClelland.
Weather: 85 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 21 mph, Out to CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media