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News » Astros-Braves Preview 2009-05-02


Astros-Braves Preview 2009-05-02


Astros-Braves Preview 2009-05-02
Roy Oswalt could end up in Cooperstown someday, but the Houston Astros ace is focused only on the present.

The right-hander goes for his first victory of the season and first win against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon as the teams meet at Turner Field.

Oswalt (0-2, 3.94 ERA) allowed nine earned runs in dropping his first two starts this season, but he's yielded five runs in 19 innings over his last three outings.

He matched a season high with seven innings in Monday's 4-1 victory over Cincinnati, giving up one run and six hits.

"I want to win, like everyone else," Oswalt said. "I'm not pitching 20 years to go to the Hall of Fame. As long as the team wins, that's what I'm here to do."

The Braves are the only NL team that Oswalt hasn't defeated, as he's 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA in five starts. In his last start at Turner Field, he allowed nine runs - seven earned - and 10 hits in five innings of a 9-4 loss May 6, 2005.

Oswalt is 0-1 with a 7.32 ERA in four starts at Atlanta.

Houston (9-14) hasn't fared much better at Turner Field of late, falling to 3-11 in its last 14 games there with Friday's 7-2 loss.

Atlanta (11-11) scored more than four runs for just the second time in its last 10 games.

Batting cleanup for the first time this season, Jeff Francoeur hit a two-run homer in the first inning and singled home a run in the sixth before the game was delayed 2 hours, 2 minutes after the seventh.

"As much as I love the home run, my single with the bases loaded was probably even better for me," he said. "Just going the other way, getting two strikes on you and laying off the slider, then hitting a slider to right field."

Francoeur is batting .369 (24-for-65) against Houston - his highest average versus any team.

Omar Infante drove in two runs and went 2-for-4 to lift his average to .364. He's started the last three games at second base, but manager Bobby Cox said Kelly Johnson will return to the lineup Saturday.

Cox will give the ball to Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 1.72), who looks for another strong outing after surrendering two runs in six innings of Monday's 3-2 loss to St. Louis.

In his last three starts, Jurrjens posted a 1.33 ERA and pitched at least six innings each time. The Braves, though, scored three runs in those games as Jurrjens went 0-2.

"I just try to give my team a chance to win," Jurrjens said. "That's all I can control."

The right-hander has never faced the Astros.

Braves catcher Brian McCann, who hasn't played since April 22 due to blurred vision, wore glasses while taking batting practice Friday. He said he plans on returning May 8 in Philadelphia.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 2, 2009

ty-wigginton---houston-astros
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