Former Boston right-hander Kyle Weiland makes his first start in a Houston uniform tonight when the Astros host the Atlanta Braves in the second of three games between the teams at Minute Maid Park.
The 25-year-old New Mexico native was a third-round pick of the Red Sox in 2008 and debuted with Boston last season, going 0-3 in seven appearances - five starts - with a 7.66 earned run average in 24 2/3 innings. He was acquired this offseason as part of the deal that sent Mark Melancon to Boston.
The Astros, who won only 56 games last season, improved to 3-1 in 2012 in Monday's season opener when Marwin Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Houston rallied from an early hole to top Atlanta, 8-3, and keep the Braves winless.
J.A. Happ (1-0), who retired 11 batters in a row at one point, tossed six solid innings of three-run ball for the Astros, who have won three straight since dropping their season-opener to Colorado.
Justin Maxwell, claimed off waivers from the Yankees on Sunday, smacked a two- run home run in his first Astros at-bat.
Brandon Beachy (0-1) allowed four runs - one earned - on four hits and three walks in five innings for Atlanta, which is 0-4 for the first time since 1988.
The Braves counter tonight with fourth-year righty Tommy Hanson, who seeks his first win in 2012 in his second start. The 25-year-old dropped a 1-0 decision at New York on April 5 after allowing four hits and a run in five innings, striking out four and walking three.
Hanson was an 11-game winner in 22 starts last season with the Braves while posting a 3.60 ERA across 130 innings.
He's 3-0 in five career starts against Houston with a stingy 0.97 ERA in 37 innings while giving up 17 hits and four earned runs.
The Braves are 10-3 versus the Astros since the start of the 2010 season, with all three losses coming in Houston.