Lucas Harrell (8-7, 4.03) vs Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.74)
Victory! It took the Astros seven games to record their first win in July; they joined the August win column in only three. Justin Maxwell and Lucas Harrell both came up big in Atlanta tonight, propelling Houston to a 3-2 win. The win is Houston's 11th on the road, and they improve to 36-72 overall.
*Lucas Harrell did what we're starting to expect Lucas Harrell to do, keeping his opponent under control all night. His control started slipping in the 6th, as he walked the bases loaded and allowed two runs on a Dan Uggla single, but he still finished with a solid 6 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 5 BB / 5 K line. Giving credit where credit is due, the bullpen was great for the second night in a row, as Fernando Rodriguez, Wesley Wright, and Wilton Lopez combined for three scoreless, hitless, walkless innings. Only a HBP by Lopez in the 9th kept the bullpen from being perfect, but he still recorded his first save since 2010.
*Justin Maxwell single-handedly spoiled Paul Maholm's Braves debut, going 4 for 4 with 2 HR (both off Maholm), driving in all three of Houston's runs. The home runs were Maxwell's 11th and 12th of the season, and this was his second career two-HR game (9/12/09 vs. Florida).
*Ben Francisco struck out three times in four at bats, but he singled and scored in front of Maxwell's first homer in the 4th.
*Jose Altuve's hitting streak was broken, and his batting average dropped to .299, but he also walked three times in four plate appearances.
*Matt Downs had a multi-hit day himself, singling twice to go 2 for 4.
*J.D. Martinez had a double and went 1 for 4.
Harrell left the game after six strong innings with the scored tied 2-2, but J-Max didn't leave it tied for long. He launched the second pitch of the 7th inning deep into Turner Field's left field seats, giving Harrell - and Houston - the win.
Man of the Match:
Justin Maxwell! HUGE game tonight from Houston's center fielder.
Goat of the Game:
Do we have to? Brett Wallace, I suppose, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts from the cleanup spot, and leaving three runners on base.