Astros 3 Braves 2 (58-47, 1st place, 4.5 games ahead of the Phillies) Hits: Andruw Jones smacked two hits of the Rocket to raise his average to .265, and the Braves were 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts on the night, including Chipper Jones' first steal in his first attempt of the year. Giles also stole his 11th in only his 50th game of the year; he'd be on a pace for about 35 if he had not been injured. Ortiz pitched very well, allowing seven hits, four walks, and two runs in seven innings to lower his ERA to 3.16, but the Rocket matched him by allowing only two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks to lower his ERA to 2.70, second in MLB. Giles and Johnny Estrada got the other two hits. There is good news, though: the Braves extended their errorless streak to four games! Misses: There were lots of 0-for's on the night, as I expected against Roger Clemens -- the Braves offense has never performed well against serious power pitchers in my memory. Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Ben Sheets, Kerry Wood, Mark Prior? They all shut the Braves down with authority! The super-combo of Charles Thomas (in left field) and Eli Marrero (in right, giving Drew the night off, though he would later pinch run for Julio Franco and steal a base) were a combined 0-for-8 to lower their combined batting average to .338. The Braves were leading 1-0 from the second inning, but gave up one run in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to lose 3-2. After the Braves tied the game in the eighth, Chris Reitsma allowed three consecutive baserunners before a fielder's choice scored the winning run. To be fair, Mike Lamb's hard slide took out Marcus Giles or the Braves may have had a double play that would have at least forced the Astros to bat in the ninth. Line of the Day: Braves offense: 36 PA, 30 AB, 4 H, 5 BB, 10 Km 2 R -- With offense like that, the Braves deserved to lose a lot worse than 3-2, so let's all be happy that Russ Ortiz kept his good-pitching streak alive! Next time he should allow only one run or less. NL East: The Mets pounded the Brewers to come back to within eight games. As September approaches, the Mets need to gain ground fast or start making plans for next year. The Expos won the 9th of their last 11 games over the NL's best, the St. Louis Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Marlins lost to the NL's worst, the Arizona Diamondbacks, to remain six games back. The Phillies beat the current wild card leader, the Padres, to pick up a game on Atlanta and come back to within 4.5 games.