The Braves offense came crashing back down to earth tonight in an 8-3 loss against Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros, Monday night. Derek Lowe didn't quite duplicate his last outing, giving up five runs, eight hits, and three walks in five and a third. The game was essentially over after the sixth inning, in which Scott Linebrink came on to relieve Lowe. The Astros sent ten batters to the plate and scored five runs in the frame to produce a very comfortable 7-0 lead.
Matt Young, Eric Hinske, and Jordan Schafer refused to quit in the ninth though, which was great to see. With the score 8-0 and two outs in the top of the ninth, Young got the first double of his big league career. Fan interference was called, but Matt can rest easy on the plane back to Atlanta knowing that it would have been a double anyway. Hinske followed up with a professional eleven-pitch walk to bring Jordan to the plate. Schafer proceeded to belt one into the bullpen in right-center field off of Brandon Lyon to avoid the shutout. Dan Uggla came to the plate with one last opportunity to keep his 3-game hitting streak alive, but went down on strikes to end the road trip.
Hunter Pence showed just how good he really is, even presumably not at one hundred percent with back issues. Pence went 3-4, drew a walk and knocked in 4 runs on the night. He looks like he came out of the 1930s with a choked up grip and high knee kick. He even runs like an old-time player, but simply dominated Braves pitching tonight. Wandy Rodriguez pitched great in his first start in 22 days. He came out of the game after six innings, giving up just two hits, and no runs.
Derek Lowe didn't look great this evening, but the Braves' bats didn't help him out much early on when an opportunity presented itself with the bases loaded in the first, and again with two men on in the third. Brandon Hicks had a rough game while giving Gonzo a much-needed night off. He wasn't charged with any errors, but he missed some tough but important plays in the field and went 0 for 4 at the dish.