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Homers by Upton brothers power Braves over Astros

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The Canadian Press
6/24/2014 11:31:30 PM
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HOUSTON -- When brothers B.J. and Justin Upton homered in the same game three times in the first month they played together in Atlanta last year it looked as if their concurrent power displays might be a trend for the Braves.

Instead B.J. was soon mired in the worst season of his career and the brothers didn't homer in the same game the rest of the year.

They finally picked up their fourth such game on Tuesday night to tie a major league record and lead the Braves to a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

"Both of those guys are so talented," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They can really change the game. They're game-changers and hopefully we'll continue to get more of those."

B.J. Upton's homer was a solo shot off Scott Feldman (3-5) in the third inning that put Atlanta up 2-1. Younger brother Justin connected off Feldman the next inning to push the lead to 3-1.

"Both of those runs were big for us and it ended up being the deciding factor," Justin said. "It's always special when we homer in the same night, but for it to get us the win, too, it was really nice."

Justin said he didn't know about the record until after the game. B.J. knew they were close, but wasn't sure exactly what they needed to tie the mark.

"Anytime you can tie a major league baseball record it's definitely pretty cool," B.J. said. "It's cool to say you did it, and we're not going to try to break it, but hopefully we do."

It was a nice bounce-back game for the brothers, who were coming off a four-game series against Washington in which they went a combined 2 for 27.

"All of us, really," Gonzalez said when asked about the Uptons rebounding from their struggles in the last series. "Throughout the course of the season you're going to need everybody firing on all cylinders and we haven't done that all year, just in spurts. Maybe this will get us going."

Aaron Harang (6-6) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth for his 22nd save.

Houston rookie George Springer hit his team-leading 14th home run and Jose Altuve added two hits to give him a major league-best 105.

Former Astro Chris Johnson had two hits and drove in the first run for the Braves.

Springer put Houston up 1-0 with his two-out homer to centre field in the first inning.

The Braves tied it in the second when Jason Heyward tripled and scored on a double by Johnson.

Jason Castro singled with one out in the Houston fourth, Chris Carter walked and Jonathan Villar hit an RBI single.

The Astros got a runner to third base with two outs in both the seventh and eighth innings, but stranded them. Springer grounded out the first time and Robbie Grossman struck out in the eighth.

"We had our chances. We just were not able to get the big hit," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "We ran the bases well, we got guys on, but at the end of the day, you have to find a way to drive them in. We were not able to do that (Tuesday), and that was the difference in the ball game."

Feldman allowed four hits and three runs with five strikeouts in six innings for his third straight loss.

Matt Dominguez, rookie Jon Singleton and Grossman continue to struggle at the plate for Houston. Dominguez was 0 for 3 with a walk to extend his slump to 0 for 19, Singleton went 0 for 4 and is 0 for his last 16 and Grossman is 0 for 24 after going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Justin Upton had a nifty defensive play for the second out of the eighth inning. He made a long dash from left field to grab a ball hit by Castro down the line in foul territory before spinning around and throwing the ball in.

NOTES: Other brothers who have homered in the same game four times are Jeremy and Jason Giambi and Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero. This is the second season the Uptons have played on the same team. ... Gonzalez said that RHP Gavin Floyd, who broke a bone in his throwing elbow on Thursday, will have surgery on Wednesday. Gonzalez said that he isn't sure of the timetable for his return. ... SS Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall draft pick by Houston in 2012, is expected to be out for an extended time after injuring his right ankle Saturday night playing for Single-A Lancaster. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Correa was in Houston on Tuesday to see a doctor and that he would have more details on his injury on Wednesday.

Justin Upton (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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