Originally created 05/17/98

Braves drop game to Astros



HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio thrilled the largest regular-season crowd in Astrodome history, hitting a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night that gave the Houston Astros a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

A crowd of 51,526, topping the previous mark of 50,908 set on June 22, 1966, against Los Angeles, saw the Astros come back from a 2-0 deficit against Greg Maddux.

Biggio hit his fifth home run, connecting against Kerry Ligtenberg (3-2). The Astros greeted him at the plate after his drive over the left-field fence.

Doug Henry (2-1) pitched two hitless innings and struck out two.

The last 13 regular-season games between the Astros and Braves have been decided by either one or two runs.

Maddux gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings, and left with the score tied at 2.

Astros starter Shane Reynolds went seven innings and gave up six hits before Henry relieved.

Chipper Jones put the Braves ahead in the third with his 13th home run.

Michael Tucker singled to lead off the Atlanta fourth, moved up on Eddie Perez's single and later scored on Maddux's bunt.

The Astros got a run in the fifth when Brad Ausmus led off with a single and later scored on shortstop Walt Weiss' throwing error.

Houston tied it in the sixth when Richard Hidalgo singled, stole second and scored on Bill Spiers' double.

NOTES: The Braves are 25-5 since April 14, matching the best 30-game stretch in club history. ... Derek Bell went 0-for-4, leaving him in an 0-for-17 slump.

Atlanta -- 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -- 2 6 1
Houston -- 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 -- 3 7 0

One out when winning run scored. E -- Weiss (3). LOB -- Atlanta 7, Houston 9. 2B -- Alou (9), Spiers (9). HR -- Biggio (5) off Ligtenberg; ChJones (13) off Reynolds. RBIs -- ChJones (39), GMaddux (1), Biggio (17), Spiers (12). SB -- Biggio (16), DeBell (7), Hidalgo (2), Ausmus (3). S -- Weiss, GMaddux.

Runners left in scoring position -- Atlanta 4 (Lockhart, ChJones, Tucker 2); Houston 7 (Alou 2, Hidalgo, Gutierrez, Ausmus, Reynolds 2). Runners moved up -- Lockhart, Gutierrez.