HOUSTON (AP) — After a tough June where Justin Upton has hit under .200, the Atlanta Braves hope the last two games are an indication that he'll get back to where he was earlier this season.
Upton homered for the second straight game and drove in three runs and Alex Wood pitched seven scoreless innings to help the Braves to a 4-0 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
"When he gets hot like this it's really, really something to watch," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Hopefully this is the beginning of one of those big runs that he can give us."
Upton is hitting just .185 this month, but his average for the season is .272 after a great start to the year.
"I'm seeing the ball and hitting it, that's about it," Upton said. "I've gotten some good pitches to hit and I've put good swings on them."
Shae Simmons and Juan Jaime finished the three-hitter as the Astros were shut out for the 10th time this season.
The Braves had just two hits when Upton launched his 16th homer, a two-run shot into the bullpen in right-center, to make it 3-0 in the seventh inning. Collin McHugh (4-6) had plunked Jason Heyward to set up things for Upton.
Upton drove in Atlanta's first run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning. He joked that Wood owed him a treat of some kind for providing most of the offense in the win.
"Just maybe get an ice cream cone or something," Upton said with a laugh. "They've got some good ice cream in there, at least get a scoop of ice cream."
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman left in the eighth after being hit by a pitch on what appeared to be his right elbow. He was examined by a doctor and said he was fine and hoped the swelling wasn't too bad on Thursday so he could play.
Wood (6-6) was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his first start since May 4 after appearing in 11 games out of the bullpen in his last stint with the Braves. He allowed three hits and struck out four with one walk.
"He did a nice job," Gonzalez said. "Mixed all his pitches ... his breaking ball, his fastball, threw some nice change ups."
Gonzalez was encouraged by Wood's performance in filling in for Gavin Floyd, who had surgery this week after breaking a bone in his throwing elbow.
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