Houston's Backe gets first win this season

HOUSTON (AP) -- Willy Taveras wasn't sure how to act after hitting his first major-league home run.

"When I hit the ball I just started running and tried to look professional," he said.

Taveras connected in the seventh inning and Brandon Backe got his first win of the season to lead the Houston Astros over the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Taveras hit only 15 home runs in six minor-league seasons.

"It felt real good, but I'm not a home run hitter. I don't know what happened. I was just trying to get on base and steal bases," he said. "I guess I just hit that ball really well, but my career is not going to be hitting home runs."

Making his third start of the year, Backe (1-0) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out eight, walked one and gave up a two-run homer to Chipper Jones.

"I got extra energy after the home run by Jones. I didn't think it was a home run and it made me a little mad. It gave me extra energy. I thought it hit below the yellow line," Backe said. "You get tired, but that is where the mental part of the game comes in. You just have to keep grinding."

Houston, coming off a 1-0, 12-inning loss to the Braves, ended a 15-inning scoreless streak when Brad Ausmus hit an RBI single in the second that tied the score at 1. The Astros took a 4-1 lead with two outs in the fifth on RBI doubles by Adam Everett and Jeff Bagwell around a run-scoring single by Craig Biggio.

Jones' homer cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth.

"Chipper looks good. He's been swinging the bat good all season," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.

After Atlanta loaded the bases with none out in the eighth, John Franco struck out Adam LaRoche and Russ Springer got Brian Jordan to ground into a double play. Brad Lidge, Houston's fifth pitcher, struck out two in the ninth and got his fourth save.

"It is frustrating. Things are starting to mount up offensively. We are not coming through in situations where we need to get runners in," Jones said.

John Thomson (1-2) gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings.

"I wasn't getting the corners in the fifth inning and I'm just wracking my brain right now. I'm thinking about all the little things too much," Thomson said.

Atlanta's Raul Mondesi, who hit an RBI triple in the second, was ejected by first base umpire Mike DiMuro in the seventh inning for arguing that Bagwell didn't tag him after grabbing third baseman Morgan Ensberg's wide throw to first.

"How can he see the play behind Bagwell? That was a good opportunity to tie the game since it was a leadoff play," Mondesi said. "He took it away from us. They've got to be more consistent."

Cox also had a problem with the call.

"There was no question. He missed the tag. He was safe easy," Cox said.

Game notes
Houston's Jason Lane went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in 11 of 13 games this season. ... Jones' homer tied him with Reggie Smith (314) for fourth among switch-hitters. ... Biggio needs one RBI to reach 1,000. The only player with more for the Astros is Bagwell at 1,517.