Austin Riley hit a triple homer on Friday night for the rising Atlanta Braves, who defeated the visiting Houston Astros 6-2 in the first game between the clubs since last October’s World Series.
The Braves, who defeated the Astros in six games to claim their first title since 1995, have won 10 of their last 11 games. Atlanta played less than 24 hours Friday after outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
The Braves started Friday 3 1/2 games behind the first-placed New York Mets in the National League East.
AL West leaders Astros lost for only the third time in nine games.
Kyle Wright (15-5) clinched the win after conceding two runs with six hits and a walk while hitting seven over six innings. Collin McHugh hit three over two perfect innings before Kenley Jansen bypassed Alex Bregman’s leadoff double in the ninth.
Ronald Acuna Jr. and Dansby Swanson, the first and second hitters in line for the Braves, each made an out in the third before Riley hit right midfield for his 31st hit of the year.
The Astros scored twice in the fifth, starting with Kyle Tucker’s first homer and later when Jose Altuve hit a two-hit RBI single. But Wright knocked out Yuri Gurriel to strand two runners.
The top of the Braves order hit a three-run surge in the sixth. Ninth-placed hitter Michael Harris II led with a double and Acuna pulled a one-out walk. Then both runners met Swanson’s double to center. After Riley singled, Matt Olson lofted a sacrificial fly.
Swanson ended with three hits and Acuna, Riley and Eddie Rosario had two hits each.
Tucker and Jose Altuve each had two hits for the Astros.
Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1), starting the season for the second time after missing the first more than four months with an elbow injury, accepted the loss after allowing three runs with seven hits and three walks , while he hit six over five innings.
Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez left the game at the end of the fifth inning because he was feeling sick, the team said. He was taken to a hospital for examination.