Braves come out swinging

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HOUSTON --- Josh Anderson hit two home runs and Jeff Francoeur drove in three runs with a pair of doubles to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros 11-5 on Saturday night.

The Braves jumped out to a 9-0 lead after an inning and a half and finished with 18 hits, tying the most allowed by the Astros this season.

Brandon Backe (9-14) went 1q innings, the shortest outing of his career, and allowed eight runs and eight hits, including two home runs, both by Anderson.

The right-hander leads the major leagues with 36 homers allowed.

James Parr made his fifth start of the season since being called up from Triple-A Richmond on Sept. 2. He left with a 9-5 lead but didn't get the win because he went only 4Q innings. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits.

Reliever Vladimir Nunez (1-2) pitched 1w perfect innings, striking out one, to get his first major league win in four years. Before his stint with the Braves this season, Nunez hadn't pitched since 2004 with the Rockies.

Anderson led off with a home run on the second pitch of the game. It was his second homer of the season. Brandon Jones added a two-run double to give the Braves a 3-0 lead in the first.

Anderson added a two-run homer in the second inning to make it 5-0.

Backe was pulled three batters later after he walked Casey Kotchman to load the bases. Francoeur's double off reliever Jack Cassel scored three more, and Jones followed with an RBI single for a 9-0 lead.

Hunter Pence hit his 25th home run of the season in the second inning for Houston. Lance Berkman drove in his 106th run of the season in the third.

Chipper Jones flied out in the ninth as a pinch hitter, lowering his major league-leading batting average to .364.

Jones, who has been out of the starting lineup because of right shoulder inflammation since Sept. 21, leads St. Louis' Albert Pujols (.356) by eight points for the NL batting title.

The homer in the first inning was Anderson's second career leadoff homer. The first came Sept. 2, at Florida.

The Braves' bullpen has gotten a boost recently from Jorge Julio, who pitched a scoreless inning for his 11th consecutive appearance without allowing a run.

TODAY'S GAME

ATLANTA BRAVES AT HOUSTON ASTROS

Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.68)

Wandy Rodriguez (8-7, 3.59)

2:05 - SportSouth Minute Maid Park

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tnjsw
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tnjsw 09/28/08 - 09:46 am
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too little to late

too little to late

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