Justin Maxwell hit two home runs, including a go-ahead solo shot in the seventh, helping the Astros edge the Braves, 3-2, on Saturday.
It was the second career multi-homer game for Maxwell, who also belted a two- run blast in the fourth inning. He finished with a career-high four hits, adding a pair of singles and a stolen base.
Rookie Lucas Harrell (9-7) earned the win, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings. He walked five, struck out five and has now held the opposition to two runs or less in seven of his last eight outings.
"I kind of went away from my strengths and I started nibbling a little bit too much there at the end," said Harrell. "It got me in a little trouble. I felt like my changeup really bailed me out in a couple big situations."
Wilton Lopez recorded the final two outs of the ninth to pick of his second career save.
Paul Maholm (9-7) was charged with the loss in his Braves debut, giving up three runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks over seven innings. The lefty was acquired from the Cubs on Monday and had gone 5-0 in his previous seven appearances.
Dan Uggla hit a two-run single in the sixth inning for the Braves, who had won nine of 10 entering Saturday.
The rubber match of this three-game series will take place on Sunday.
Maxwell's 11th homer of the season came with two down in the fourth and plated Ben Francisco for a 2-0 lead.
The Braves battled back with two outs in the sixth, courtesy of three consecutive walks by Harrell and a game-tying, line-drive single to left by Uggla.
"I felt good going into the (at-bat)." said Uggla. "I was gonna be aggressive. He got me down 0-2 and I just had to battle."
But Maxwell struck again in the seventh with a leadoff shot, sending a hanging curveball deep into the seats in left field for a decisive advantage.
Houston's bullpen did the rest, as Fernando Rodriguez, Wesley Wright and Lopez allowed just one baserunner the rest of the way.
Harrell has nine of the Astros' 36 wins this season...Maxwell's only other multi-homer game came in 2009 as a member of the Nationals...Braves third baseman Chipper Jones went 1-for-2 with a run scored and has hit safely in 28 of his last 32 games since June 19.