Atlanta (17-10) at Houston (11-15)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Thu May 1, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros released Shane Reynolds at the end of spring training.

Now pitching for Atlanta, Reynolds will try to show them that they made a mistake when the Braves meet the Astros in the finale of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Picked up by the Braves as a free agent on April 10, Reynolds delivered two quality starts before getting hit hard in his last outing. In a 12-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers last Friday, he gave up 10 runs and 10 hits in just 3 1-3 innings.

“I throw one good pitch and then one bad pitch,” he said. “I could never get consistent. And be consistent with good pitches. It seemed like every time I made a bad pitch they’re a hit.”

He’ll now try to regain the form that he displayed in his first starts, when he did not allow an earned run over a span of 12 1-3 innings.

The Braves will also be looking for their third series sweep of the season. Winners of 13 of 15, they pounded the Astros 11-1 on Wednesday. It was their sixth straight road win.

Mike Hampton allowed four hits over seven innings in his second strong start since coming off the disabled list and Chipper Jones drove in four runs to lead the Braves, who also won Tuesday’s series opener 3-1.

The Astros, who had just five hits, lost for the sixth time in seven games.

STANDINGS: Braves - 1st place (tied), NL East. Astros - 4th place, 3 1/2 GB, NL Central.

BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Reynolds (1-1, 5.74 ERA). Reynolds, who was 103-86 with 3.95 ERA in nine seasons with the Astros, will be making his first appearance against his former team.

ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeriome Robertson (1-3, 7.99 ERA). Robertson, who has struggled all season, had one of hits worst outings last Friday. In just three innings, he gave up six runs and six hits, as the Astros were pounded by the Montreal Expos 10-2. Robertson has allowed at least three runs in four of his five starts. The 26-year-old lefty has never faced the Braves.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Braves - Marcus Giles, .360 avg.; Gary Sheffield, 7 HRs and 27 runs; Andruw Jones, 23 RBIs; Sheffield and Rafael Furcal, 5 SBs. Astros - Jeff Bagwell, .314 avg., 10 HRs and 19 RBIs; Craig Biggio, 18 runs; Richard Hidalgo, 3 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Braves, 2-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Braves - RHP John Smoltz has converted his last 26 save opportunities dating to last season. … The Braves’ six-game road winning streak is their longest since taking six consecutive away games last June 26-July 12. … RF Sheffield went 4-for-4 Wednesday for his eighth multi-hit game of the season. Astros - 2B Jeff Kent is batting .368 with three homers and eight RBIs in 38 career at-bats against Reynolds. … LF Lance Berkman, who is batting .208 with two homers, was dropped to sixth in the batting order on Wednesday. He had been batting fourth until getting moved to fifth Tuesday. … Manager Jimy Williams has used 14 different starting lineups this season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Braves - 7-4 on the road; Astros - 5-6 at home.

INJURIES: Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL. Astros - LHP Carlos Hernandez (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Moehler (right flexor tendon), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Reynolds Ari vs. J. Robertson NYM
11-9 Record 15-9
5.43 ERA 5.10
94 K 99
59 BB 64
1.49 WHIP 1.52