2 - 3 Final
  for this game

Hanson, Hinske lead Braves over Astros

May 17, 2011 - 2:53 AM 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.

They were coming off back-to-back wins against the NL East-rival Phillies.

"It's good to keep rolling," said Hanson. "Hopefully we can go out tomorrow and pull out another win."

Matt Downs hit a solo homer and knocked in both runs for the Astros, who dropped to 3-9 in their last 12 games.

"Hanson threw some good pitches, man. He's got good stuff," said Downs. "I just got a couple balls up in the zone and put some good swings on them."

Houston starter Brett Myers went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts. The Braves broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh after he was pulled for Abad.

Nate McLouth drew a four-pitch walk leading off and went to second on Dan Uggla's one-out walk. He scored when Hinske lined a single into right field, sliding to beat an off-line throw by Hunter Pence.

Wilton Lopez relieved Abad and got the final two outs, but the Astros didn't reach base again until Lee's hit in the ninth. Kimbrel struck out Brett Wallace and pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic to end the game.

Hanson didn't allow a hit until Lee's line-drive single to left with two outs in the fourth inning.

In Lee's previous at-bat in the first, he smacked a sharp grounder down the third base line that Martin Prado fielded on a dive, then gunned Lee out at first base while still lying on the ground.

Prado also threw out Michael Bourne by a step after charging his bunt in the third inning and fielding it bare-handed.

As good as Hanson was, and as tough as the defense was behind him, the Astros still took a 1-0 lead when Downs lined a solo homer over the left field wall in the fifth.

Atlanta went up 2-1 in the sixth, sparked by back-to-back singles from Hinske and Alex Gonzalez to lead off the inning. Both players scored on Joe Mather's one-out single, but the Braves wasted an opportunity to get more.

Myers booted -- then dropped -- Hanson's bunt and was unable to throw him out, putting runners at first and second. But Myers got Prado on a double play to end the inning.

Prado overthrew first base in the seventh, allowing Lee to reach, and Downs hit a two-out RBI double to deep center field to tie the game at 2-2 for Houston.

Game Notes

Prado grounded into three double plays...Hanson has struck out at least 10 batters five times, including twice this season...Lee was 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games...The Braves are headed on the road after this series for seven games, including the start of their interleague schedule in Anaheim...The Astros are on a seven-game road trip that ends with a series in Toronto to start interleague play...Myers had lost his last three starts, giving up a combined 16 runs in them.