Welcome back, Chipper. We missed you.
Our long (seemed like it at least) national nightmare is over. Chipper Jones is back, and the Atlanta Braves are in the win column for the first time in 2012. Chipper recorded two hits, including a home run, as Atlanta beat Houston 6-4.
The Astros got the scoring going in the second inning, as Carlos Lee singled to start the frame. He advanced to third on a double from Chris Johnson, but was thrown out by Chipper trying to score on the next play. However, Johnson scored on a single from Marwin Gonzalez to make it a 1-0 game early.
The Braves stormed back with three runs of their own in the third. Brian McCann singled and scored from first (I swear it happened) on a double from Dan Uggla. Chipper followed by knocking a two-run homer into the right field stands to give Atlanta a 3-1 lead.
Starter Tommy Hanson got into his first big jam in the bottom of the frame, as he had the bases loaded against him with only one out. Hanson escaped the jam with two big strikeouts in a row to Johnson and Brian Bogusevic.
In the fourth, Tyler Pastornicky put up a great at-bat against Astros starter Kyle Weiland. He saw 10 pitches (fouling off five) and ended it with his first career home run into the left field seats. Also, the fan who caught the ball recognized it was his first homer, and threw the ball back on the field. Nice moment for the rookie.
Houston got a run back in the fifth, as Jordan Schafer singled to leadoff the inning. He then stole second and third, before coming home to score on a single to right by Lee. That made it a 4-2 game.
Hanson left after the fifth inning, finishing with a line of 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K’s.
Michael Bourn got into the action in the seventh by walking and then stealing second. He advanced to third on a grounder to second from Martin Prado, and scored thanks to a nifty slide on a grounder from Freddie Freeman. That made it a 5-2 game.
Kris Medlen worked an easy sixth inning, but didn’t make it out of the seventh. Schafer singled to start the inning, and went first to third on a grounder up the middle that took a bad luck bounce off of a diving Pastornicky. Lee followed with a rocket off the left field wall, scoring Schafer and chasing Medlen.
Eric O’Flaherty entered and gave up a single to Johnson that scored Lee and cut the lead to 5-4. That’s as close as the Astros would get.
Atlanta added an insurance run in the eighth, as pinch hitter Eric Hinske singled and scored Heyward from second to end the scoring at 6-4.