News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Houston Astros News

News » Francoeur rejuvenated


Francoeur rejuvenated


Francoeur rejuvenated
It got to a point in 2008 when Jeff Francoeur batting with runners in scoring position was enough to make Braves fans cringe. And with the bases loaded, it was even enough to make Francoeur himself cringe.

But when the rejuvenated right fielder came to bat with the bases loaded in the fifth inning Friday against Houston, he did so with confidence. And when he got two strikes, he didn't waver.

He stroked an opposite-field single on a 2-2 pitch for his third RBI in the game, after a two-run homer in the first inning off left-hander Mike Hampton.

"I think I've already got more hits with the bases loaded than I did last season," said Francoeur, who was joking, but wasn't too far off.

The fifth-inning hit Friday made him 2-for-2 with the bases loaded, after his unsightly .182 bases-loaded average (6-for-33) in 2008.

In all situations with runners in scoring position, Francoeur's .458 average (11-for-24) before Saturday was tied for fifth-best in the National League. He hit .192 in 177 at-bats with runners in scoring position in 2008.

"The key is, he's relaxed," hitting coach Terry Pendleton said of Francoeur, who's using a more open stance that has enabled him to see the ball better, stay back longer, and hit the ball to all parts of the field.

He hit .287 overall before Saturday, including .318 with 12 RBIs and a .343 on-base percentage in his past 17 games.

"He's got a better approach, and it's helped his confidence," Pendleton said. "He's more patient. Look at [Friday] with the bases loaded. In the past he's practically running out and trying to hit the ball out of the pitcher's hand."

After hitting .210 in 176 at-bats against lefties in 2008, Francoeur's .387 average (12-for-31) against them through Friday ranked 10th in the NL.

Schafer hits leadoff

Jordan Schafer went 2-for-5 with three strikeouts while batting leadoff Saturday for the first time in the majors.

Manager Bobby Cox made the move after the rookie center fielder hit .310 with 13 walks and a .524 on-base percentage in his previous 11 games. Cox said he didn't know how long he might keep him there.

Schafer said before the game that he looked forward to stealing bases in the leadoff role, which he couldn't do often hitting seventh or eighth. He was caught stealing second base in the fifth inning.

Second baseman Kelly Johnson, who batted leadoff in 16 of the first 19 games, moved to sixth Saturday after being benched three games. Utility man Omar Infante has a .440 average and .500 OBP in six games in the leadoff spot.

Etc.

Catcher Brian McCann said he wouldn't begin an expected short rehab stint at Class AAA Gwinnett until Tuesday or Wednesday, which would come after his new Oakley glasses arrive and he has time to get accustomed to them. He's on the disabled list for dryness and blurred vision in his left eye and eligible to rejoin the Braves on Friday. ... Catcher David Ross' wife, Hyla, gave birth to a son, Cole David Ross. Ross missed Friday's game for the birth, but was in the lineup Saturday.

Late Friday: Braves 7, Astros 2

Houston AB R H BI BB SO AVG.

K.Matsui 2b 4 0 1 0 1 1 .239

Bourn cf 5 1 3 0 0 0 .284

Berkman 1b 5 0 1 1 0 0 .165

Ca.Lee lf 4 0 2 0 0 0 .265

Tejada ss 4 0 0 0 0 1 .301

Pence rf 2 1 1 0 2 0 .288

Blum 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .294

I.Rodriguez c 4 0 1 0 0 1 .236

Hampton p 2 0 1 1 0 0 .222

Geary p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---

Ja.Smith ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Fulchino p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---

W.Wright p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---

Erstad ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .167

Totals 36 2 10 2 3 6

Atlanta AB R H BI BB SO AVG.

Infante 2b 4 1 2 2 0 0 .364

Escobar ss 4 1 2 2 0 0 .286

C.Jones 3b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .306

Francoeur rf 4 1 2 3 0 0 .287

Kotchman 1b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .288

M.Diaz lf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .218

Sammons c 4 0 1 0 0 1 .250

Schafer cf 3 1 0 0 1 1 .261

D.Lowe p 1 1 0 0 0 0 .000

Moylan p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---

B.Jones ph 0 1 0 0 1 0 .286

Bennett p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---

M.Gonzalez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---

Totals 31 7 8 7 3 4

Houston 100 100 000 --- 2 10 1

Atlanta 200 040 10x --- 7 8 1

E: Berkman (1), D.Lowe (1). LOB: Houston 10, Atlanta 4. 2B: Ca.Lee (6), Escobar (5). 3B: Bourn (2). HR: Francoeur (3), off Hampton. RBIs: Berkman (11), Hampton (2), Infante 2 (6), Escobar 2 (11), Francoeur 3 (16). CS: Ca.Lee (1). S: D.Lowe.

DP: Atlanta 1.

Houston IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Hampton L, 1-2 4 fl 5 6 5 2 0 4.88

Geary 1 (TM) 1 0 0 0 2 4.91

Fulchino 1 1 1 1 1 1 5.14

W.Wright 1 1 0 0 0 1 5.63

Atlanta IP H R ER BB SO ERA

D.Lowe W, 3-1 6 (TM) 8 2 2 2 3 3.03

Moylan fl 0 0 0 0 0 7.56

Bennett 1 (TM) 2 0 0 1 3 0.82

M.Gonzalez fl 0 0 0 0 0 4.15

T: 2:47 (Rain delay: 2:02). A: 29,309 (49,743).


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 5, 2009

houston-astros-vs--oakland-athletics--06-13-07
Houston Astros Photos
All the latest Houston Astros Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright © Astrosportal.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.