Houston (58-49) at Atlanta (70-37)

Light Rain Currently: Atlanta, GA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Thu Jul 31, 2003
  • TV: KNWS, TBS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros released Shane Reynolds during spring training. He’ll again try to show them they made a mistake.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who signed with Atlanta in April, will make his second career start against his former team when the Astros and Braves meet in the finale of a three-games series at Turner Field.

Reynolds did not get a decision in his first appearance against Houston, an 8-7 Atlanta win on May 1, allowing five runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.

However, Reynolds appears to be a completely different pitcher now. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in three of his past four starts, going 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA in that span. In those three wins, his ERA is 2.36.

The Braves will look for another strong outing from Reynolds as they try to win for the fourth time in six games.

After taking Tuesday’s series opener 6-3, the Braves fell 7-3 on Wednesday. The Astros jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on their way to snapping a two-game losing streak.

Atlanta second baseman Marcus Giles, who came into the game with nine straight hits, flied out to the warning track in his first at-bat to come up one short of the NL record for consecutive hits. After going 13-for-15 the previous three games, he was 0-for-3 with a walk.

“As far as the personal stuff, that falls by the wayside when you lose,” Giles said. “It’s a tough break for me personally. More important, it’s a tough loss for the team.”

The Braves had won three of their previous four.

STANDINGS: Astros - 1st place, NL Central. Braves - 1st place, NL East.

ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Wade Miller (7-9, 4.56 ERA). Miller had a decent outing against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, but did not get a decision in the Astros’ 5-3 loss. He allowed three runs and six hits while striking out six and walking two in seven innings. In four career games against the Braves, the 26-year-old right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.24 ERA.

BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Reynolds (8-5, 5.64 ERA). In a 15-4 win over the Montreal Expos on Saturday, Reynolds allowed three runs and nine hits over seven innings. He struck out five and walked none.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Astros - Richard Hidalgo, .319 avg.; Jeff Bagwell, 23 HRs; Lance Berkman, 67 RBIs; Bagwell and Berkman, 71 runs; Bagwell and Adam Everett, 6 SBs. Braves - Gary Sheffield, .325 avg. and 84 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 29 HRs; Rafael Furcal, 88 runs and 17 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Braves, 4-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Astros - 2B Jeff Kent is batting .415 (17-for-41) in his career against RHP Reynolds. … LF Berkman was a late scratch Wednesday with a sore right knee. … The Astros placed RHP Roy Oswalt on the disabled list for the third time this season. He re-injured his right groin Tuesday. Braves - The Braves, who are 19-8 this month, need one win to tie the team record for July wins. They went 20-7 in 1995. … Atlanta has averaged 15.3 hits over its past six games (92 total). … C Lopez has hit in 11 of his last 12 games, batting .467 (21-for-45) in that span.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Astros - 25-29 on the road; Braves - 37-16 at home.

INJURIES: Astros - INF Jose Vizcaino (wrist), 15-day DL; LHP Carlos Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Rodrigo Rosario (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Moehler (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Oswalt (groin), 15-day DL. Braves - RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Trey Hodges (elbow), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Miller Tor vs. S. Reynolds Ari
14-13 Record 11-9
4.13 ERA 5.43
161 K 94
77 BB 59
1.31 WHIP 1.49