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Braves spring training: Atlanta fall to Astros
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Russ Ortiz had one of his most impressive outings of the spring Tuesday night, going six innings while allowing two earned runs, five hits and striking out six in the Astros' 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

"He pitched very good tonight," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "He had one of his best outings of the spring I think."

Ortiz, who won 21 games for the Braves in 2003, gave up a three-run homer to Chipper Jones in the sixth inning.

"I think Chipper just waited for that one pitch that he wanted and he got it," Ortiz said. " I played with him and I saw him do that time and time again, especially to left field."

Atlanta starter Derek Lowe allowed three earned runs and five hits in four innings.

Lowe allowed a triple, single and double to the first three Astros hitters, and Houston finished the first inning with a 2-0 lead. Houston added a run in the bottom of the third and another in the bottom of the fifth.

Jones' homer pulled the Braves to 4-3, but Astros relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Jeff Fulchino gave up just one hit the rest of the way.

Braves left fielder Garret Anderson went 2-for-3 with a triple to raise his spring average to .444.

Houston left fielder Carlos Lee, who entered the game hitting just .178 with no home runs and six RBIs, went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs.

Despite his 2-1 spring record and 3.18 ERA, Ortiz said he's still waiting to hear from Astros management about his future with the club.

"I try not to get caught up in that and it's hard," Ortiz said. "I want to make the team and I want to be in Houston, but I also go back to I can't control any decisions."

<B>Notes:<P> The Astros announced prior to the game that they had acquired veteran infielder Jeff Keppinger from Cincinnati for a player to be named or cash considerations. Keppinger hit .266 with three home runs and 43 RBIs in 121 games for the Reds in 2008. ... Astros first baseman Lance Berkman missed his fourth consecutive game with biceps tendinitis in his left shoulder. Berkman said Monday that he planned to DH on Tuesday, but Houston manager elected not to use a DH against the Braves in order to give Berkman another day of rest. Berkman is expected to play Wednesday against Cincinnati. ... Braves starting catcher David Ross left the game in the fifth inning with a strained right groin. Team officials said they will update his condition on Wednesday. ... The Astros optioned pitchers Alberto Arias and Jeff Fulchino to the minors after the game.

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