John Thomson got in trouble to start the game, allowing a single and a double leading off the game, which turned into two runs. He recovered from that and allowed but one more hit (a solo homer) the rest of the way, striking out five and walking none on his way to the Braves’ first complete game of the year and his first with the club.
The Braves bounced back immediately from the two in the first with four in the bottom of the inning, getting four straight hits to lead off, capped by LaRoche’s three-run homer to center. It was his only hit of the game, though he did drive in one more run. A key was the middle infield/top of the order, which had been slumping. Furcal went 2-4 with a walk, scored twice, and drove in a run. Giles was 2-3 with two walks and scored twice. All the starters reached base and only Estrada didn’t have a hit. Andruw had the day off with a sore back. Langerhans played center and had a double.
Thomson’s accomplishment is slightly lessened by the Astros’ starting lineup which still lacks Lance Berkman and also now Jeff Bagwell, out with a shoulder problem. To give you some idea, Jose Vizcaino started at first and hit third. AAA lineup.
The Marlins were idle, so the Braves are in first place for now. Tomorrow another big matchup, Oswalt and Smoltz on TBS.