Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Tommy Hanson had 10 strikeouts in seven sparkling innings and Eric Hinske hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 3-2 win over Houston in the opener of a two- game series.
Hanson (5-3) moved to 4-0 in his last five starts after allowing two runs — one earned — on three hits and a walk. He threw 67 of his 94 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 2.35 for the season.
Eric O’Flaherty fanned two in a perfect eighth inning and Craig Kimbrel worked around Carlos Lee’s one-out single in the ninth to earn his 11th save.
Hinske’s single — his third hit of the game — made a loser out of Astros reliever Fernando Abad (1-4) as the Braves improved to 4-3 on their eight-game homestand.
Matt Downs hit a solo homer and knocked in both runs for the Astros, who dropped to 3-9 in their last 12 games.