Heyward drives in 3, Braves sweep Astros

ATLANTA (AP) — Jason Heyward and Melky Cabrera each drove in three runs and the Atlanta Braves beat Houston 7-1 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep and leave the Astros with a six-game losing streak.

The Braves outscored the Astros 21-4 in their first three-game sweep of Houston since 2003.

Heyward, the rookie sensation who had homers in three straight games before Sunday, had two hits. He ranks among the NL leaders with seven homers and 23 RBIs.

Heyward gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the second with a sacrifice fly to deep right field. He had a run-scoring double in the Braves' three-run fourth inning off Bud Norris and drove in another run with a bases-loaded infield single in the three-run fifth.

Derek Lowe (4-2) snapped his two-game losing streak, giving up six hits and one run with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings. He allowed at least one hit in every inning and gave up his only run on back-to-back doubles by Michael Bourn and Jeff Keppinger in the fifth.

Norris (1-3), making his first career start against Atlanta, gave up a career-high seven runs on eight hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.

The Astros held a team meeting after Saturday's 10-1 loss.

"We had to go over some things," manager Brad Mills said before Sunday's game. "Most of it, I think, needs to stay in-house. ... Just wanted to kind of tighten things up a little bit."

Mills tweaked his lineup on Sunday. Carlos Lee, normally the cleanup hitter, swapped spots with Lance Berkman and batted third. Four players — Lee, Keppinger, Bourn and Kaz Matsui — each had two hits, but the Astros left two runners on base in the first, third and seventh innings.

Heyward's sacrifice fly in the second drove in Brian McCann, who walked. McCann led off the fourth with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Heyward's double. Cabrera and Omar Infante added run-scoring singles for a 4-0 lead.

Kris Medlen followed Lowe with two scoreless innings. Takashi Saito and Billy Wagner each pitched one shutout inning.

Chipper Jones was 0 for 3 with a walk, leaving him without a hit in 14 straight at-bats. He is hitting .206.

The Braves were without shortstop Yunel Escobar for the third straight game due to a strained left adductor. When asked if Escobar is close to returning, manager Bobby Cox said: "I don't think real close."

NOTES: Mills said RHP Samuel Gervacio, who left Saturday's game with a right shoulder strain, was "a little tender" on Sunday. Mills said Gervacio, who spent 17 days on the disabled list early in the season with a strained right shoulder, will be examined by team doctors Monday if he's unable to throw without pain. ... Houston SS Tommy Manzella was held out for the second straight day after a grounder hit him in the throat Friday night.