Season series: Braves vs. Astros
Atlanta takes five of six games early in the season
The Braves dominated the Astros in head-to-head meetings this season, but all the games were played in April and May, when Houston was struggling mightily. The Astros have been a different team since then, streaking to the National League Wild Card.
April 18: Braves 1, Astros 0 (12)
Minute Maid Park
Ryan Langerhans' first Major League home run in the 12th inning was the difference as the Braves won a 1-0 thriller over the Astros. Tim Hudson pitched nine shutout innings, and Dan Kolb tossed a scoreless 12th inning to earn his fourth save. Roger Clemens struck out eight in seven scoreless innings, but the Astros squandered scoring opportunities late in the game. With a runner on third in the ninth, Hudson struck out Jeff Bagwell looking to escape the threat.
April 19: Astros 5, Braves 3
Minute Maid Park
Chipper Jones hit his fourth homer of the season in the sixth inning, but the Braves fell to the Astros, 5-3. John Thomson gave up four runs for his second straight loss. Houston's Brandon Backe struck out eight in seven innings for his first career win over Atlanta. The right-hander got a lift from Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, who drove in a pair of runs in a three-run fifth inning.
May 5: Braves 9, Astros 3
Backe struggled against the Braves this time around, allowing nine hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 9-3 Atlanta win. Morgan Ensberg hit a solo homer in the fifth off Braves starter Thomson, who settled down after a sluggish first inning and pitched Atlanta's first complete game of the season. Adam LaRoche hit a three-run homer in the first inning and finished with a career-high four RBIs.
May 6: Braves 9, Astros 4
The Braves tagged Roy Oswalt for seven earned runs on 10 hits in five frames in a 9-4 win. Johnny Estrada's first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning, gave John Smoltz the lead. Smoltz allowed just two hits but left the game after five innings with a strained muscle in his back. Mike Lamb drove in a pair and Jason Lane added a two-run shot in the ninth inning for the Astros.
May 7: Braves 4, Astros 1
Horacio Ramirez and the Braves limited the Astros to one run on six hits, despite Houston loading the bases in the ninth inning in a 4-1 Atlanta win. Ramirez returned from an 11-day layoff to limit the Astros to three hits over seven innings in his best outing of the season. Julio Franco hit his first home run of the year and Andruw Jones added two doubles.
May 8: Braves 16, Astros 0
The Astros mustered just two hits against lefty Mike Hampton as the Braves rolled to a 16-0 win. Hampton made sure Atlanta pulled off the four-game sweep, throwing a two-hitter and hitting a solo home run to lead the charge. Langerhans backed his pitcher with two home runs of his own.
Andrew Worob is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.