The Houston Astros defeated the Atlanta Braves by a final score of 8-3 Monday evening to avoid the four game series sweep. Wandy Rodriguez got the starting nod for Houston just one day after being activated from the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his left pitching elbow.  He was solid in his return pitching six strong innings of two hit baseball, while striking out five and walking four.  Rodriguez improved his overall record to 4-3 while handing Atlanta starting pitcher Derek Lowe his fifth loss (3-5 overall).

Houston’s Hunter Pence returned to the line-up this evening after having a day off with back trouble and hit a

homer (4th) and drove in four runs (50 RBIs) while going 3-for-4 from behind the plate and extending his hitting streak to a career best 23-games. Pence has 13 multi-hit games during the streak and is second in the National League with 88 hits.

Brandon Lyon came on in the 9th inning for Houston, blowing the pitching staff’s shutout. Lyon game up three earned runs off two hits as centerfielder Jordan Schafer hit his first home run of the season with two on and one out.