(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Braves are feeling pretty good about themselves right now after a big weekend series and hope to carry that momentum into tonight's opener of a quick two-game set versus the Houston Astros at Turner Field.
The Braves just took two out of three games from the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies and are coming off Sunday's 3-2 win in the series finale, as Dan Uggla muscled a home run in the eighth inning off of reigning Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay to lead his club to victory. Uggla, in his first season with Atlanta, had two hits and scored all three runs for the Braves, who have won three of four to trim the Phils' lead atop the division to 3 � games.
"Each and every time you do something like that, it just helps you feel more part of the them, and I already do," said Uggla, who was traded to the Braves by the Marlins this past offseason. "These guys have made me feel so welcome already. But at the same time, you want to contribute and do your part."
Freddie Freeman drove in two runs and Tim Hudson did not record a decision with seven innings of two-run ball. Jonny Venters collected the win with a perfect eighth and Craig Kimbrel posted his 10th save in the ninth. Braves veteran Chipper Jones did not play Sunday with a sore knee and could rest again versus the Astros. Young star Jason Heyward isn't expected to return until Tuesday with inflammation around his right throwing shoulder.
With or without Jones, Tommy Hanson will try to take down the Astros when he takes the mound Monday. Hanson is 3-0 in his last four starts and did not figure into the outcome of Wednesday's 7-3 loss to Washington, as he allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings. The righty is 4-3 in eight starts with a solid 2.51 earned run average this season and will make his fourth career start against the Astros.
Hanson is 1-0 with a 0.78 ERA over three starts in this series.
Houston has the worst record in the National League at 15-25 and has lost eight of its last 11 games. It dropped two of three meetings with the New York Mets over the weekend and suffered a 7-4 loss in Sunday's series finale.
Aneury Rodriguez was hammered for seven runs - five earned - in five innings to suffer the loss, while Clint Barmes homered and Jason Michaels added two hits and an RBI. Michael Bourn and Bill Hall also had a pair of hits for Houston.
"We left a lot of guys on base today, and we had been swinging the bats pretty well," Barmes said on the club's site. "We've been scoring runs, and it's one of those things where it's tough, because we left way too many guys on base, and we were one swing away in the eighth and gave ourselves a great chance to come back and do something in the game. It didn't work out."
Brett Myers is battling through a rough spot, having lost his last three starts, and will take the mound for the 'Stros this evening. In last Tuesday's 7-3 loss to Cincinnati, Myers allowed six runs and 10 hits in six innings of work to fall to 1-3 on the season with a 5.01 earned run average.
The right-hander has permitted six runs in each of his previous two starts and at least four runs through the past four trips to the mound. Myers hasn't fared so well in his career against Atlanta, going 4-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 29 appearances, 22 of which have been starts.
Atlanta won five of six meetings with Houston a year ago.